Employees of Electric supply on 72 hour strike over unfulfilled demands
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh electricity employees started a 72-hour strike from Thursday night. On the other hand, the government has warned that it will deal strictly with the striking power workers and a case will be registered under the National Security Act (NSA) if found involved in power system disturbances.
Demanding implementation of the December 3 settlement with the government, the workers have threatened to go on an indefinite strike if any strikers are arrested or harassed. Officials said all alternative arrangements have been made to keep the power supply back on track.
After last-ditch efforts to persuade the leaders of the UP Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti to withdraw the strike call, state Energy Minister A.K. Sharma admitted that the talks had failed.
He said that the government is ready to consider implementing most of the points of the December 3 agreement.
Sharma further said that the doors of talks are still open, but if the strikers are found to be indulging in irregularities, the government will deal with them strictly.
The employees have decided to go on strike at a time when people need uninterrupted power supply during the summer season, he said.
The minister warned that a case under the National Security Act (NSA) would be registered against anyone who sabotaged the power system.
He said that the provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) would also be invoked if there is any inconvenience to the consumers. He said that if the contractual employees join the strike, their services will be terminated.
UPPCL Chairman M. Devaraj said that all alternative arrangements have been made to keep the power supply back on track. He said, employees of NTPC and private power plants have been asked to run thermal plants, while employees of power wing in departments like irrigation, PWD, municipal corporation will take care of power distribution and also students of engineering colleges will contribute .
On the other hand, Shailendra Dubey, convenor of the Sangharsh Samiti, alleged that the strike has been imposed on the employees due to the stubbornness of the top management of UPPCL, as the government could not implement the agreement of December 3.
“The minister was asking us to postpone the strike plan without assuring us to implement the December 3 agreement,” he said.
“Our strike is only for 72 hours and the government can use this period to implement the agreement,” he said.