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Civic strike hits Mumbai hospitals, transport
August 11, 2004 18:30 IST
Mumbai's local transport system and hospital services were hit on Wednesday as over 200,000 employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport Undertaking went on mass casual leave from midnight demanding a hike in dearness allowance.
The Municipal Mazdoor Union, which called the strike, claimed the agitation "completely crippled" the city's vital services. Municipal Commissioner Johnny Joseph, however, said BMC offices registered 60 per cent attendance.
Employees affiliated to the BEST Kamgar Sena and Electricity Supply Workers' Union did not participate in the strike.
Over 20 civic hospitals across the city were managed by para-medics and medical college students.
Joseph said uninterrupted water supply was maintained by civic engineers and garbage cleared with the help of private operators under police protection.
Nearly 300 home guards were deployed to assist civic authorities to ensure that essential services were not affected.
BEST, Mumbai's lifeline, operated only 318 buses against the usual 3,153. Only 528 conductors and 390 drivers reported to duty, a BEST spokesperson said.
BEST buses were provided with police escorts.
Seventeen incidents of stone pelting on BEST buses were reported through the day, the spokesman said.
To ease the pressure, around 56 state transport buses were run on Mumbai roads.
No major disruption in electricity or water supply was reported from any place.