UP power dept staff boycott work in protest against privatization
Talks between the UP Power Corporation Ltd and the UP Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti broke down on Sunday.
Employees in the power department of the Uttar Pradesh government began an indefinite complete work boycott from Monday in response to a call given by the UP Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti to protest against the proposed privatization of the Varanasi discom.
The government, meanwhile, said it had made all the preparations to deal with the agitation
On Sunday, the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) management held talks with the sangharsh samiti leaders to persuade them to withdraw the work boycott call but talks broke down after the management rejected their proposal for effecting reforms in the energy sector without privatizing it.
“After the UPPCL management turned down our reform proposal, we have asked all the power personnel to begin the full day work boycott from Monday as per the pre-declared plan,” All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairman and sangharsh samiti leader, Shailendra Dubey said.
He claimed the country’s 15 lakh power employees will resort to work boycott as a mark of solidarity to their UP counterparts on Monday. Accusing the management of misleading the government, Dubey appealed to chief minister Adityanath to intervene into the matter to stem the growing unrest in the industry.
The UP Power Officers Association president, KB Ram and acting president, Avadhesh Kumar Verma on Monday met BJP state president, Swatantra Dev Singh, state Congress president, Ajay Kumar Lallu and BSP leader, Satish Chandra Mishra and submitted memorandum to them seeking their supports to stop privatization.
“Essential services like hospitals have been exempted from the work boycott of the staff. We will be meeting the power minister in the evening,” Verma said.
On the other hand, the state government has hardened its stand on the issuing and has warned of strict action against protestors if they tried to disrupt power supply.
Chief secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari held a videoconference with divisional commissioners, district magistrates as well as senior police officers and issued directions to deal with the situation that may arise from the power staff’s proposed work boycott from Monday. He asked them to ensure hat power supply was not disrupted in the state.
A government spokesman said all preparations are in place to deal with the protestors.
“The government has identified critical power stations for beefing up security around them and also chalked out an action plan to hand over power transmission and distribution system to alternative staff if so warranted. Round-the-clock emergency control rooms too have been set up and activated in each district.”