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IIOJK in focus

From lineman to engineer— all power department employees go on strike in IIOJK

Power outages in J&K parts as PDD employees go on strike Srinagar, December 20 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, from lineman to engineer, all employees of power department are on strike against the privatisation move of the Modi-led fascist Indian government, plunging the most parts of the territory into darkness amid the chilling temperatures.

The PDD employees are protesting against Modi government’s decision to hand over the department’s assets to the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), an Indian statutory corporation, headquartered in Gurugram, India, and engaged mainly in transmission of bulk power across different states of India, in the name of privatization. The employees see the move as a conspiracy hatched by the RSS-backed Modi government to install its people in place of local employees.

Talking to the media Convener, Jammu and Kashmir Power Employees and Engineers Coordination Committee, Munshi Majid Ali said, “We have called for an indefinite strike after the has government failed to address our issues” adding that Power Employees and Engineers resent Joint Venture of Jammu and Kashmir Power Transmission Corporation Limited (JKPTCL) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).

He said that the strike call was given after the coordination committee thoroughly discussed the burning issue of the formation of joint venture between JKPTCL and PGCIL for maintenance and development of Transmission and sub-transmission networks.

“Employees are aghast at this unilateral decision which is nothing but a step towards privatization of the already unbundled corporation. The members termed the inclusion of 33 KV network within the ambit of JKPTCL as unreasonable and illogical and a brazen violation of Electricity Act 2003.”

He said that a draft agreement of a proposed Joint Venture between JKPTCL and PGCIL Ltd has come to the fore which has taken the fraternity of Electrical employees by “surprise considering the covert and hasty manner in which the proposal has been mooted without taking the most important stakeholders (employees ) on board.”

Furthermore the employees, he added, have a long-standing trust deficit with the Modi government which at the time of unbundling befooled the employee associations promising various employee-friendly measures like regularisation of engineers working in In-charge capacity, creation of posts at various levels including engineering and non-engineering cadres.

Meanwhile, protests were displayed in many parts of the occupied territory due to power failure that remained hit from Friday midnight. The protestors have appealed to the administration to consider the demands of the agitating employees for early restoration of the electricity as people are facing many hardships due to power failure.

The PDD employees have refused to resume their work and repair any fault unless the demands are met.

Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Power Employees Coordination Committee (JKPECC) Jaipal Sharma said that all the unions and associations from Linemen to senior Engineers across J&K are on indefinite strike as the stalemate continues because several rounds of talks with the Government has failed. “We will continue to agitate until our demands are considered,” said the Chairman.

The Modi regime has called Indian army soldiers at power stations in Jammu to restore electricity supply.

Reacting to the development, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in a tweet said that there no bigger admission of failure for a civilian administration than to call upon the army, it means a total breakdown of governance has been accepted by the authorities.

Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti on Monday criticised the Modi regime for deploying the Army to operate power stations in IIOJK. She said the plan for privatisation in the power sector was part of a larger “loot” of the territory’s natural resources. She tweeted, “GOI has made its criminal agenda behind scrapping J-K’s special status clear. Motive behind state sponsored loot of our natural resources – illegal auction of sand mining to outsiders, conversion of agricultural land to privatising power transmission is to plunge J-K into chaos.”

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