January 6, 2009 2:11:58 am
Cracking the whip on its protesting employees,the cash-strapped Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) has asked them to first perform and then demand a share in the corporations profits.
About 45,000 employees and engineers of the UPPCL,who are demanding immediate implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission,are on strike since January 2.
We intend to give our employees the benefits of the commission but it is not possible at the moment, said VN Garg,Chairman,UPCCL. We have to increase our resources,and therefore,we expect them to first join us in our revenue enhancement exercise.
Justifying their agitation,UP Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee Convenor Shailendra Dubey,said: When the government can implement the Sixth Pay Commission for 15 lakh government employees,then why have the 45,000 odd power corporation employees been deprived of this benefit?
The financial status of the corporation does not augment the argument put forth by the corporation officials. The corporation is already running an annual cash deficit of Rs 7,000 crore. The implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission will cost an additional Rs 900 crore per annum. Beside,the arrears will cost another Rs 1,750 crore,a senior official said.
The UPCCL authorities claim that the corporation is not a government department and hence it has to survive on its own resources. The purchase of power at high rates causes a further loss of Rs 300 crore per month. To add to the woes are power thefts and transmission losses,which the corporation is finding difficult to keep a check on.
The officials also point out that no other corporation in the state had been given salaries on the basis of the Sixth Pay Commission. Yet,we are not denying to implement the Sixth Pay Commission for the UPCCL staff. But for this to happen,the employees have to perform better and improve the functioning of the corporation, said an official.
Since the employees have not completely boycotted work,the functioning of the corporation has not been affected significantly with no impact on power generation and transmission. There have been some sporadic cases where the maintenance staff has refused to attend to the complaints of the consumers.
The employees have said that they would chalk out their future course of action on January 8.
In order to avoid any adverse situations in the upcoming days,the corporation has made arrangements to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The engineers of Power Grid Corporation and National Thermal Power Corporation have been requested to take charge of the power stations. The corporation has also directed District Magistrates and the Senior Superintendent of Police of all districts to post policemen at various sub-stations to maintain law and order. Beside chief engineers of all distribution companies have been asked to arrange adequate manpower to deal with any crisis.
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