The employees of the electricity department of Chandigarh under the banner of UT Powermen Union held a rally in Sector 17 on Tuesday.
The rally was held in the support of long-pending demands of UT electricity employees and against the adamant attitude of the administration towards the genuine demands of the employees, including withdrawal of the proposal of administration to privatise the electricity department.
The other demands include filling up over 600 vacant posts lying vacant in the department since long, procurement of cable, joint, transformer, meter, tubes, fusewire, and other urgent material in the department, offer of appointment to the next kin of diseased employees of Powercom pattern, removal of pay anomalies and amendments in rules. The rally was addressed by union president Ram Sarup and general secretary Gopal Datt Joshi. The leaders addressing the rally criticised the administration for its proposal to privatise the electricity department.
Sarup said the administration increased electricity tariff every year, but failed to provide them proper facilities. He further said despite shortage of staff and non-availability of material, the employees were putting their best to provide uninterrupted power supply to consumers.
Joshi said as per official records, 176 items were listed in the stock register maintained by the department and of these majority items were out of stock.
“Among the unavailable material are basic items such as power meters, cables, insulators, tube holders and starters,” he said.
He further added that as per rules, the department had to provide electricity meters for a new connection or as replacement for defective equipment. Against the rules, the department is directing consumers to purchase electricity meters on their own from a particular shop and deposit it along with the cash memo with the electricity department.
The union passed a special resolution against the administration for giving major projects to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and other firms through memorandum of understanding (MoU) and demanded CBI inquiry for the loss of revenue of the department.