Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses will be operational on Tuesday and will not be part of 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders against the Centre's new farm laws.
"BEST buses will be operational tomorrow and will not be part of 'Bharat Bandh'. Protective iron grills and other protective gears will be used while plying the buses tomorrow," a public relations officer told ANI.
Taxi Union of Mumbai has not issued a statement in support of 'Bharat Bandh'. Cabs and auto services are expected to run as normal.
Meanwhile, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), in a joint statement, said trade and transport sector will function normally despite the 'Bharat Bandh' call. "No farmer body has contacted us or sought our support with regard to Bharat Bandh. So trade and transport service will continue normally in Delhi and other parts of the country," the statement said.
Over 20 political parties including Trinamool Congress, RJD, Shiv Sena, besides a joint platform of 10 central trade unions, had backed the nationwide shutdown. Apart from the Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress - two other constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra - have declared support to the bandh.
Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said "We don't want to cause problems for the common man. Therefore, we will begin at 11 am so that they could leave for their offices on time. Work hours in offices will end by 3 pm. Services such as ambulance, even weddings, can go on as usual. People can show their card and leave."
Maharashtra state bank employees federation as well as the All India Bank Employees Association which is an association of all government banks have supported the countrywide strike.
After five rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions failed to end the impasse, the two sides are again set to meet on December 9, a day after the countrywide strike. The three farm laws enacted in September have been projected by the government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and do away with the mandis, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.