Srinagar: Several areas of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed electricity outages as power employees begin their indefinite strike on Saturday against the government’s privatisation move.
As per the officials, many parts of Srinagar faced prolonged power cuts due to the strike called by the employees as they refused to carry out repair works or rectify technical snags in the system, similar reports came out from the Jammu division where many areas faced blackout.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Convenor, Jammu and Kashmir Power Employees and Engineers Coordination Committee, Munshi Majid Ali said that from lineman to engineer, all employees of power department are on strike against the privatisation move of the government.
“ We have called for an indefinite strike after the government failed to address our issues,” he said adding that Power Employees and Engineers resent Joint Venture of JKPTCL and PGCIL.
He said that the strike call was given after the coordination committee thoroughly discussed the burning issue of the formation of JV between JKPTCL and PGCIL for maintenance and development of Transmission and sub-transmission networks.
“Employees are aghast at this unilateral decision made by the UT government which is nothing but a step towards privatization of the already unbundled corporation. The members termed the inclusion of 33 KV network within the ambit of JKPTCL as unreasonable and illogical and a brazen violation of Electricity Act 2003.”
He said that a draft agreement of a proposed Joint Venture between JKPTCL and PGCIL Ltd has come to the fore which has taken the fraternity of Electrical employees by “surprise considering the covert and hasty manner in which the proposal has been mooted without taking the most important stakeholders (employees ) on board.”
“Furthermore the employees have a long-standing trust deficit with the government of J&K which at the time of unbundling befooled the employee associations promising various employee-friendly measures like regularisation of engineers working in In-charge capacity, creation of posts at various levels including engineering and non-engineering cadres. DPCs of Non-Gazetted employees. Regularization of PDLsTDLs, and Provision of budgetary support for Salaries of employees as mandated by SO 109 etc.. which arc yet to see daylight.”
In the Jammu division, power outages were also reported from several areas after the employees boycotted work.
In Rajouri, Engineers of JPDCL working under the control of the Executive Engineer in Rajouri said that they are on strike as per a call given by UT forum and we will not work under any circumstances until our demand is met.
“ We are against joint venture with the power grid and the entire staff is opposing it,” said Engineers.
“ We have several other demands like regular salary release and redressal of demands of daily wagers of the department,” they 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 JV of JKPTCL with PGCIL. The government should issue a white paper on non-fulfilment 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, regularisation of PDLs, TDLs, DPC of non-gazetted staff, and regularisation of all PDD engineers,” the memorandum of demands of PEECC read. “Delinking the salary from Grant-in-Aid and releasing regular budget for all PDD employees on deputation to different corporations. White paper of service conditions of PDD employees on deputation to CVPPPL vis-à-vis the similarly situated employees deputed from NHPC and the complete management control usurped by NHPC.”