Contractual employees hold protest against thermal plant closure in Bathinda
Under the banner of Theka Mulazim Sangharsh Morcha (TMSM), contractual workers from different departments of state government held a protest on Sunday at district administrative and deputy commissioner (DC) office complex in favour of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) employees to oppose the decision of closing Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), Bathinda, for six months during winter.
The leaders claimed that to encourage the privatisation of public-sector services, the state government has decided to close three thermal plants of the state located at Rupnagar, Lehra Mohabbat and Bathinda.
Considering the protest of employees, the government ordered to run one unit each of Rupnagar and Lehra Mohabbat thermal plants but has not decided about GNDTP, Bathinda.
The employees demanded that along with other two thermal plants, GNDTP should also be allowed to produce electricity at one unit at least.
The TMSM leaders alleged that the state government is playing in the hands of multinational private companies and is willing to close the publicsector institutions to promote privatisation without considering the future of government employees.
The privatisation will badly affect the economy of the state and residents will have to pay much more price for common needs.
The TMSM leaders also blamed the government for not fulfilling the promises and imposing false cases on the protesters who demanded their rights.
After the rally, TMSM delegation along with leaders of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) met Basant Garg, DC, Bathinda and gave a memorandum about their demands.
TMSM leaders demanded that an action should be taken on the police officials who were responsible for the lathicharge on peacefully protesting TMSM protesters on October 5 at Kotha Guru village.
The delegation also asked to release two protesters, Sukhdarshan Singh Bhagta and Thana Singh, who were arrested by police on the same day.