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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Power engineers on 'work to rule' protest

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, March 14, 2014
First Published: 00:10 IST(14/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(14/3/2014)

The PSEB Engineers' Association has decided to intensify the ongoing agitation against the Punjab government and the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) management by observing 'work to rule'  protest from March 12 to 26 at their respective stations.

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The engineers working at thermal plant in Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat and west zone comprising of Bathinda, Mansa, Sri Mukatsar Sahib, Faridkot, Fazilka, Moga and Ferozepur are participating in the protest.

Engineer Jatinder Garg, zonal secretary of the association said during the 'work to rule' agitation, the engineers would perform their duties strictly as per rules from 9am to 5pm only and would not perform the duties of subordinates.

"In case of tripping of any generating unit at any of the thermal and hydro- plants or fault in any transmission or distribution system during off duty hours, the generation and supply of power may suffer and the government and the management authorities will be responsible for this", he said.

The engineers are agitated over the decision of the Punjab government to raise the retirement age of chairman- -cum-managing director and directors from 62 to 65 years and for allowing entry of IAS officers in the management.

"The government has violated the tripartite agreement and has amended the qualification criteria without reaching an understanding with the association. Moreover, the engineers have been denied the differential in the pay scales whereas other employees have been given the same", he said.

He said the government had been relying on private generation, putting an additional burden of `1250 crore annually on account of imported coal whereas sufficient coal was available for Punjab for its plants.

"Around Rs. 1700 crore has to be paid during this financial year as capacity charges to private plants without getting a single unit of power. Such heavy burden would result in hefty increase in power tariff that shall have to borne by electricity consumers", he said.

In a press note, the association claimed that the management had failed to show any progress in the execution of 1320 MW state sector thermal project at Mukerian despite the fact that adequate quantity of indigenous coal was available in the captive coal mine which shall bring down the cost of power.

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