The Uttar Pradesh government has made elaborate arrangements on the 72 hour strike called by the Uttar Pradesh Power employees from 10 pm over non-implementation of the three-month-old agreement.
However, essential services including power supply and generation have been kept out of the purview of the strike. The officers were also not supporting this strike.
State Power Minister A K Sharma told reporters on Thursday evening that the power employees were adamant on the strike even after a sympathetic attitude by the government towards their demands.
Giving a stern warning to the agitating employees, the minister made it clear that if contract workers do not come to work, they will be removed while if the public faces a problem then action will be taken under ESMA on the strikers and they could even be arrested under NSA.
He clarified that Power Corporation is facing a loss of around Rs 1 lakh crore so it will take time to implement all the demands. ” We have already started reviewing the salary structure and other facilities of the Power employees,” he said while appealing to them to call off their strike due to the coming summer season and the problems to be faced by the people.
Minister said the government had long talks with employees unions for the past three days and even for 2 hours today but no agreement could be reached.
The government has geared up to deal with the strike. Holidays of power employees have already been cancelled while additional employees have been mobilized.
After stopping the work for 72 hours, the Vidyut Karmachari Sangharsh Samiti will decide the future strategy. The Samiti said that on Wednesday around one lakh electricity workers boycotted the work.
Sangharsh Samiti’s convenor Shailendra Dubey and others have demanded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s intervention in the matter. They said that the aim of the workers is not to strike, but to implement the agreement.
Dubey, alleged that even after repeated assurances, the demand of power employees was not met.
The power workers have started agitation from Tuesday demanding the implementation of the written agreement signed in the presence of Energy Minister on December 3.
Vidyut Karmachari Sangharsh Samiti boycotted work yesterday and announced a 72-hour strike from the night of March 16. The committee also took out a torchlight procession in Lucknow on Tuesday. However, their procession was not allowed by the police outside the field hostel of the Power Corporation.
Power Officers Association Executive President Awadhesh Kumar Verma assured that the Power supply will not be affected during the strike period.
Meanwhile, the Energy Minister announced that the Power Corporation has decided to provide a cashless treatment facility to all the employees of power Corporation, retired employees along with their dependents in government hospitals and medical institutions of the state.
State Chief Secretary D S Mishra said that many organizations and contractual workers are not participating in the strike, and the government will ensure their safety. DGP DS Chauhan said that full care should be taken to ensure that there is no traffic chaos in all the big cities, no untoward incident takes place in any district.
The main demand of the power employees is that electronic meters should not be installed at the houses of working and retired electricity workers.
Other demands include the process of privatization of power generation and transmission should be stopped immediately, the work of construction, operation and maintenance of two units of 800 MW capacity each in Obra and Anpara should be given to UP State Power Generation Corporation instead of NTPC or any other company, the old pension system of power workers should be implemented and contract workers should be regularized like in Telangana and Rajasthan.