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PSEB engineers protest bid to privatise Puducherry electricity department

The members demanded that the Puducherry government should withdraw the electricity privatisation tender that could pave the way for privatisation of the electricity department in the Union territory.

The meeting was addressed by Padamjit Singh, chief patron of All India Power Engineers' Federation, and other office-bearers. (Reuters, representational)

Members of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) Engineers’ Association on Monday held a protest meeting in Patiala against the bidding process for privatisation of Puducherry Electricity Department and demanded immediate scrapping of the process.

The meeting was addressed by Padamjit Singh, chief patron of All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF), and other office-bearers.

The members demanded that the Puducherry government should withdraw the electricity privatisation tender that could pave the way for privatisation of the electricity department in the Union territory.

Power engineers across the country, including Punjab, Haryana, and Jammu & Kashmir, on Monday observed “Black Day” by holding demonstrations in support of Puducherry electricity workers and against the repressive attitude of the central government and the Puducherry government.

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AIPEF said that in Jammu and Kashmir, similar protest meetings were held at Srinagar, Jammu, Sopore, and Poonch under the banner of J&K Electrical Engineering Graduates’ Association.

AIPEF spokesperson V K Gupta said that on Saturday night, when police tried to arrest the key office-bearers of various unions at the protest meeting site, more than 500 employees offered themselves for mass arrests at that time. Those arrested were released early on Monday, but later 10 union leaders were arrested by police.

National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) held a meeting with two former chief ministers of Puducherry and all Opposition MLAs. They all assured full support to the protest against privatisation of electricity department, Gupta said, adding that protests were held in several states, including UP, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, MP and Uttarakhand.

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As many as 2,000 employees of the electricity department have been on indefinite strike for the last six days against the government’s decision to privatise electricity distribution, he said.

AIPEF said, “The electricity department is running into profits, with commercial losses of just 11%. Further the Electricity (Amendment ) Bill 2022 has been referred to a standing committee for wider consultations, then what’s the hurry for privatisation of the power department.”

First published on: 04-10-2022 at 09:38 IST
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