Ticket machine ‘diktat’: Over 300 BEST bus conductors to protest at Mumbai’s Wadala depot

Over 300 bus conductors with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport (BEST) undertaking will stage a protest at Wadala depot in Mumbai at 3pm Tuesday against the transport authority’s latest ‘diktat’ on ticket dispensing machines, the workers’ union has informed.

BEST Workers’ Union leader Shashank Rao said it is a symbolic protest against a new rule of the authority as per which the salaries of conductors will be cut if the ticket dispensing machine gets damaged. “It is improper to cut salaries of employees. The machine may face technical problems and may not work properly. In such cases, salaries of employees will get cut. It will be unfair and hence the protest,” he pointed out.

The transport authority has issued a notification with 15 reasons on the basis of which it can cut employees’ salaries if the machine gets damaged. An amount ranging from Rs 490 to Rs 4,737 will be levied from employees, including Rs 506 for the speaker, Rs 538 for USB cable, Rs 1,582 for back body cover and Rs 1,105 for battery cover. In the notification issued on October 3, BEST has asked employees to take proper care of the electronic (ET) machine.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for BEST has clarified that such notification has not been issued for the first time. “Earlier, the BEST bus conductor used to have an aluminium ticket box and leather bag for keeping cash. From that time onwards we have been issuing such notifications. No penalty will be imposed if wear and tear happens after a period of time. But if supposedly a conductor says that the electronic device is not working properly, got damaged due to passengers in rush time, stolen etc, an inquiry takes place and the investigating officer should know the cause and as per the penalty that can be levied in case the machine gets damaged purposefully or due of some mischief,” the spokesperson explained.

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