AN ASSOCIATION of private bus owners has said it will continue with the two-day strike call next week and demand a written assurance from the traffic police that the ban on movement of heavy vehicles in south Mumbai during the day would be lifted. Despite holding talks with the Mumbai Commissioner of Police (CP) on Friday, the organisation, Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana, said it would stick to the strike call until their demand is met.
The traffic department earlier this week ordered a ban on the movement of all heavy vehicles and private buses in south Mumbai from 7 am till midnight. On Thursday, the organisation proclaimed that as many as 3,300 buses would remain off roads on September 19 and 20 as the ban affects their operations.
“We met BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who later spoke to the Commissioner of Police about the issue. After a meeting Friday, the CP told us that the ban was meant to be temporary, to test its role in decongesting the area. Suggestions of commuters were going to be evaluated after the two-month ban period,” Harsh Kotak of the sanghatana said.
“As the measure is taking a toll on our operations, we advised the CP against it. We will continue with the strike on the two days till a written confirmation on our discussion with the CP is received,” he added.
The Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic), Amitesh Kumar, said: “We are not implementing the new provisions of the notification for seven-10 days. During this time, we will discuss the issue with the stakeholders and whatever logical suggestions come through, those would be incorporated. Within the next 10 days, the ban should be back in place with suggestions.”
An officer said since there has been heavy traffic in south Mumbai due to work on mega projects, the police had come up with the idea on implementing the ban on buses.