With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, unemployed linemen have again intensified their protest to press the state government to grant them jobs.
While unemployed linemen are protesting for contractual employment, the linemen, who are employed on contractual basis, are now planning a protest to seek permanent jobs.
Under the banner of the Unemployed Linemen Union, the protesters are on a hunger strike and the police have shifted them to hospital many a time.
Recently, the Punjab government, after hectic parleys, had allowed recruitment of another 1,000 linemen in the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), but the protesters want all 5,000 unemployed linemen, who had passed the internship for linemen skills, recruited.
KD Chaudhri, chairman-cum-managing director, PSPCL, said the Punjab and Haryana high court had earlier allowed recruitment of only 1,000 linemen and these were recruited on contract basis by the PSPCL.
During the hearing of the case, the court allowed recruitment of another 500 linemen in 2012, 500 in 2013, 350 in 2014 and 350 in 2015. Recently, an advertisement was given for hiring linemen against recruitments that were allowed for 2012 and 2013, Chaudhri said, adding that recruitment of remaining 700 linemen would be done in due course of time.
"We are bound to follow the court orders and any accepting any demand beyond it will be illegal and can amount to contempt of court. Being law-abiding citizens, it is our duty to follow the high court orders," he said.
The Unemployed Linemen Union should accept the fact that training only enhances skills of a person and cannot guarantee job, he said, adding that, "I appeal to them to shun the path of unnecessary protests."