Mumbai's minibuses stay off-road over non-payment of dues; BEST issues notice to contractor

Of 280 minibuses attached to BEST, 266 have been off road which has put nearly 500 drivers out of work.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 10:40 AM IST
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Mumbai's minibuses stay off-road over non-payment of dues; BEST issues notice to contractor | Twitter/@ShivSena

Mumbai: For over 15 days, the wet-leased minibuses have not been plying since the drivers have not received payment for nearly three months now.

Of the total 280 buses the BEST fleet has, 266 have not been operational that has put nearly 500 drivers out of work, Times of India report stated. The report also mentioned that the drivers have moved labour court demanding compensation of resumption of work.

A senior driver was quoted saying that they are yet to receive salary for the last two and a half months which attunes to Rs 2 crore. And additional Rs 2 crore is locked away in provident funds, the driver added.

The driver also said that they are living a hand-to-mouth existence.

What did BEST say?

BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra was quoted as saying that a showcause notice was issued to leaseholder to resume services by month-end or face contract termination.

According to the report, Chandra stated that the drivers have been going on flash strikes for last three months due to non-payment issues and it has affected services.

Chandra was quoted saying that instead of minibuses they are plying bigger AC electric buses and that their overall fleet has been hit by 5 per cent.

Since the buses are run on wet lease, the financial responsibility for purchasing buses, maintenance, drivers' salaries etc are borne by contractor.

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