Employees of the organisation complain about the congested retiring room, demand better amenities.
On one hand, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) is offering free passes to 227 corporators on the other side, the organisation is not bothered about the welfare of its own employees. The retiring rooms of the BEST lack space to accommodate the drivers who often relax in the afternoon while having their lunch at the same place. The room is poorly maintained which is causing huge inconvenice to the staff members. How can 100 BEST employees be accommodated in a small room measuring 5 * 15 whose condition is deteriorating day by day? Employees have been urging the BEST to renovate the room since last 20 years but the organisation has been turning a blind eye towards this issue.
When AV visited the Kapadia Chowki, Borivali we found that the BEST has failed to provide better amenities to the conductor and driver. The drivers and conductor were seen having meals at the cramped retiring room. A small bench which is in dire straits and can only accommodate four employees while the remaining staff members have to go outside for having food. Employees feel uncomfortable while using the lavatory which is constructed in a congested area. Hence many of them have to go outside for attending nature call. The area where employees have their food is too close to the lavatory. Mosquitoes also trouble them while having food and there is possibility that many of them might fall ill.
Many times, employees have filed a complaint with the BEST officials. The management also had promised the employees to renovate the retiring room but the proposal only remains on paper.
Dilip Ghosle, a BEST driver who has completed 20 years of service said, “When we had taken up this matter with the senior officials they had promised to resolve this issue but no action has been taken yet.”
Arun Borkar, another driver said, “We have to bear the brunt of the unhygienic surroundings prevalent in the retiring room. There is a possibility that we might fall ill if we take rest in this place.”
Madhav Kulkarni a driver from Kasturba Chowk said, “When railway employees are being offered better rest rooms why can’t the BEST provide such kind of amenities to us too.”
Vinod Kotak, a retired BEST employee said, “The working conditions have remained the same even during my tenure of service. Earlier I use to suffer hardships on account of it but now the current staff members have to bear the inconvenience. We too had complained about this matter with the senior officials but they turned a blind eye towards it.”
When AV spoke to the BEST, Chairman, Sanjay Ambole and asked him why the organisation is not bothered about the welfare of its employees, he said, “We had forwarded a letter to the concerned officials and they are trying their best to resolve this issue. We will ensure that our employees get better amenities and will redress their grievances.”