Power employees to suspend all works, go on indefinite strike

JAMMU, Dec 18: The Power employees in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have resolved to go on indefinite pen down and tools down strike from this midnight as the Lt Governor’s Administration has allegedly failed to resolve their pending issues.

A spokesman of the Coordination Committee of the Power Employees, including all the unions and associations from Linemen to senior Engineers across J&K, have resolved to go for indefinite strike as the talks with the Government failed this evening. He said no employee, whether permanent, casual or daily wager, would undertake any repair/ power restoration work anywhere across Jammu and Kashmir from 12 midnight onwards.

He said in the absence of Principal Secretary Power, Nitishwar Kumar, Managing Director JPDCL, Shivanant Tyal and other senior officers represented Government and held meeting with the representatives of the Power Employees Joint Coordination Committee. The trade union leaders from Kashmir also joined through online mode. But there was no concrete assurance from the Government over the pending issues. Due to lack of any commitment and rigid stance from the Government side, the talks remained inconclusive, he disclosed.

With the total strike of the Power employees, the water supply to all the towns and cities besides rural areas across J&K is likely to be badly hit in next couple of days. The snapping of electricity supply to the hospitals and other health institutions may also cause adverse impact on the healthcare of general public.

Jaipal Sharma, chairman and Sachin Tickoo, convenor of the Coordination Committee disclosed that they have sent many representations to the Government and also senior officers of the department including Managing Director and Principal Secretary, Power, held series of meetings on earlier occasions, but they have remained unmoved to the genuine and justified demands of the employees.

The employees on deputation to PDD Corporations are demanding delinking of their salary from Grant-in-aid system to routine budget through treasuries, but only assurances are being given. On Diwali festival the employees remained unpaid. It is also major cause of concern that the joint venture of JKPTCL and PGCIL has not been scrapped.

They pointed out that the authorities have failed to address the recommendations of Unbundling Committee, which forms the basis of Corporations.

The employees are demanding white paper on non-creations/regularization of engineers and PDL, TDL staff and casual labours. They have also failed to come out with a white paper on service conditions of employees on deputation to CVPPPL, they maintained.

After giving plenty of time and representations to the Government, they were forced to take this harsh step. Even they had forwarded letter to the Lt Governor as well, they maintained.

They have sought the intervention of the Chief Secretary and the Lt Governor into the matter so that issues could be resolved.

Meanwhile, no senior officers of the PDD/JPDCL was available for comment, when approached.