Chandigarh gears up for power staff strike

The strike call has been given by employees of the Electricity Department from February 22 to 24

Chandigarh gears up for power staff strike

Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, February 19

To avoid any inconvenience to the residents, the UT Administration has geared up for a strike by employees of the Electricity Department from February 22 to 24.

“We are fully prepared to deal with any situation arising due to the proposed strike,” said CB Ojha, Chief Engineer, UT.

A control room has been set up and a roster of the duty of the staff has been prepared to work round the clock in order to prevent any convenience to the residents,he said, adding that a high-level meeting would be held on Monday to take stock of the situation.

Employees under the banner of the UT Powermen Union will observe a 72-hour strike from February 22 to oppose the privatisation of the profit-making Electricity Department of Chandigarh.

The Union Cabinet has approved the highest bidder on January 6 and the Chandigarh Administration has planned to hand over the power department to a private company on March 24.

However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 20 had sought a response from the UT Administration on a fresh plea moved by the union seeking stay on further steps in handing over of power services to a private company.

The next date of hearing is March 6. The sale of 100 per cent of the Power Department is also one of the points of the petition whereas it is 51 per cent in the case of UT Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The power supply rate in Chandigarh is the lowest in comparison to adjoining states because of cheap hydro and thermal power from central projects and a 3 per cent share in the BBMB.

Fearing that they might lose their jobs and their service conditions may not be protected, the employees have threatened to make the strike indefinite if the government did not change its attitude.

#Chandigarh

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