Electricity supply in the city is likely to get affected on Wednesday with the power utility employees deciding to go on mass leave in protest of the proposed privatisation of 23 sub-divisions of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).
The staff will remain on leave from 11 pm on Tuesday to 11 pm on Wednesday. However, the authorities have said that maintenance work would not suffer as the situation would be managed through outsourced staff.
Employees are protesting under the banner of the Haryana joint action committee. The protesting employees include staff of five sub-divisions of Gurgaon.
The state government has decided to privatise 11 sub-divisions of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and 12 sub-divisions of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam.
“The utilities were doing well and were not in loss. We do not understand the need for privatisation. The decision is also an attack on the rights of the employees of the corporations,” said Mukesh Bhayana, circle secretary of the Haryana state electricity board workers’ union.
He said that all employees from the peon to junior engineers have applied for leave and would remain absent from work on Wednesday. Bhayana said that some of the employees would gather at circle offices and protest against the decision by raising slogans.
Haryana joint action committee has said that the government should reconsider its decision to privatise the distribution companies (discoms) and stop the process of outsourcing and contract system. It has demanded to regularise contractual staff and remove pay anomalies and has sought reorganisation of the discoms and filling of vacant posts on annual basis and timely promotion. There is also a demand for cashless mediclaim for electricity employees, said Bhayana.
The protest would have no bearing on the routine supply and maintenance of the power infrastructure as outsourced staff would look after it, said a senior DHBVN officer.
Several areas of the city are already grappling with power outages and unscheduled power cuts.
A number of residents’ welfare associations daily complain of erratic power supply and long power cuts leading to dependence on generator sets and invertors. Power outage is common in some of the areas, especially in case of a storm or change in weather.