Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Financial Express
Hundreds of electricity employees in Bihar, including engineers to workers have threatened a state wide strike if the state government goes ahead with its move to privatise ‘power-supply’.
Vidhut Kamgar Padhadhikari Abhiyanta Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha, a joint platform of electricity employees in the state, have urged the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar not to make a hasty decision for privatising power supply. “The government has been trying to privatise power supply in the name of maintenance policy and franchise. We will oppose it from our offices to our streets,” said Ashwani Kumar, president of Power Engineering Service Association (PESA), Bihar.
Kumar told NewsClick that any bid to privatise power supply will not be allowed as it is anti-people and will give a free hand to private companies to exploit people in the name of providing power.
The Morcha’s convenor Surendra Kumar said that at a state level convention of the Morcha held on Sunday, September 15, it was agreed that electricity will be costlier after power supply is privatised. “We have no option but to launch agitation against this move to privatise power supply in the state. Only when our protest hits the power supply, the concerned people will be forced to take note,” he said.
Bihar Mazdoor Union leader Arjun Yadav told NewsClick that government should make over 10,000 workers of electricity companies permanent and fix their monthly salary at a minimum of Rs 18,000. He said, “These workers are the lifeline of electricity companies and help smooth supply of power.”
The Morcha’s leaders said that privatisation of power supply will hit the common people. One of the leaders said, “Millions of rupees have already been looted through the power supply franchise in Gaya, Bhagalpur and Muzafffarpur districts. There are clear cut financial irregularities reported by franchise companies.”
The members of the Morcha further said that the management of electricity companies have been ignoring the demands for a high level probe into the financial irregularities by franchise companies.
The state government has already privatised power distribution and maintenance in the state.