Day 3: Power employees’ strike

Stalemate continues, consumers across J&K suffer
The deadlock between the two bodies has put thousands of J&K residents in extreme hardship amid bone-chilling winter, while hundreds of COVID-19 patients are struggling to keep their oxygen concentrators on.
The deadlock between the two bodies has put thousands of J&K residents in extreme hardship amid bone-chilling winter, while hundreds of COVID-19 patients are struggling to keep their oxygen concentrators on.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: People in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer as Power Department employees continued their strike against the proposed privatisation move by the government for the third day in a row.

The PDD employees have been on strike since Saturday against the J&K administration decision to privatise the department and merge it with the Power Grid Corporation of India.

The PDD employees held anti-government protests in Srinagar and Jammu demanding in writing from the Lieutenant Governor that it has shelved the proposal of privatisation.

According to sources, while the administration parlayed with the PDD employees, it also visited several power distribution facilities in Jammu to speed up restoration of electric supply. The administration in its talks with the employees was represented by divisional commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langar and additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Mukesh Singh.

The deadlock between the two bodies has put thousands of J&K residents in extreme hardship amid bone-chilling winter, while hundreds of COVID-19 patients are struggling to keep their oxygen concentrators on.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Convener, PECC, Munshi Majid Ali said that so far there has been no breakthrough and their strike is on. “In Jammu, our members held a few deliberations with the government but there was no outcome. We are continuing our strike, in Jammu the administration has called up the Army to take over the control grids and receiving stations, but we are undeterred and won’t budge till the government redresses our issues,” “In Kashmir division all essential feeders are supplying power to hospitals. Also power curtailment schedule is being adhered to by our staff at grids, but we are not carrying out any repair or restoration works. We are fully aware about the problems people will face if we completely boycott our work.” Over 20,000 employees of the PDD are on an indefinite strike. Most of the 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir are facing power breakdown since Sunday while it has been restored in some areas in Jammu and Srinagar and also in few other districts, the sources said.

On Sunday, Langer wrote to the department of military affairs, Ministry of Defence, requesting for the assistance of the army in the restoration of the essential services. Since then the army has been deployed to restore essential services, officials said. The deployment was made following a requisition by the administration to the army, the officials said.

The army acted swiftly and deployed its troops at critical electricity stations and water supply sources to restore power supply, officials said.

Power Employees and Engineers Coordination Committee (PEECC), J&K Friday presented a four-point formula to the government and said that if the Administrative Department does not accept these demands, they would go ahead with an indefinite strike from December 18.

“The work boycott will stand unless the government gives written assurance to shelve the proposal of the JV of JKPTCL with PGCIL. The government should issue a white paper on non-fulfillment of the recommendations of the ‘unbundling’ report and the failure to create the positions as mandated by the committee at gazetted and non-gazetted levels, regularization of PDLs, TDLs, DPC of non-gazetted staff, and regularization of all PDD engineers,” the memorandum of demands of PEECC read.

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