With 44,000 BEST staffers not being paid yet this month, the BEST Kamgar Sena has threatened a strike.

"I had a meeting with the administration and informed them about our intention of going on a strike if the salaries are not paid by March 16, when the new chairman is elected. We know that the undertaking is facing a cash crunch but prior arrangements should have been made," said Suhas Samant, BEST Kamgar Sena and committee member.

"We have been continuously demonstrating at all depots since March 10. They are talking of getting new buses, yet they are also talking about losses. All this is humbug and we have written to the chief minister about this," said Shashank Rao, president, BEST Workers' Union.

During Diwali last year, there was a ruckus over the paying of bonus to the staff. It was finally handed out after innumerable discussions and debates.

BEST officials blame the crisis on the losses, especially those made by the transport wing of the undertaking.

The annual losses of the transport wing have been rising. In 2011-12, it stood at R4 crore and has touched R10.5 crore in 2015-16.

On March 16, first time corporator and a new entrant to the BEST committee, Anil Kokil (53) from Shiv Sena will be elected as BEST'chairman.

"I know the employees are facing salary issues. Once I take over, I will sit with the administration and resolve this matter," Anil Kokil told mid-day.