Although employees of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) gheraoed their chairman and managing director K D Chaudhary, who came on Monday to lay the foundation stone of a gas insulated sub-station in Chaura Bazar, he gave no assurance to look into their main demand.
The Joint Forum of Employees is protesting against the sale of 32 acres of land by the state government for making down town where PSPCL’s central office is located. Employees of all cadres have been protesting against the proposed government move.
Though the CMD was gheraoed and even a memorandum was submitted to him, he did not give any reply on the sale of 32 acres of land. Parkash Singh Mann, from Technical Services Union, said, “When we spoke about our demands like filling of 33,000 vacant and sanctioned posts, to abolish contract system etc, he asked us to come to Patiala for a discussion. However, when we asked him about the sale of 32 acres land, he stated that it was not in his powers and hence he should not be asked this question.”
Mann said that when the delegation asked him to get their meeting arranged with Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, who holds the power ministry as well, the CMD evaded a direct reply.
The CMD also faced a protest in Gurdaspur. The PSPCL employees said that they would show him black flags wherever he went.
The employees stated that the government in a bid to get money was making employees suffer who were working under one roof. Even consumers would suffer as 16 departments function in the central office while more than 500 families live in the colony located within.
The CMD had come to do bhumi poojan of the first gas insulated sub-station. He said that this sub-station would be operational within six months and it would be constructed at a cost of Rs 10 crore. He stated that as Chaura Bazar had no space, this project was thought of which could solve the voltage problem of shopkeepers and could be constructed in less space.
Stating that the PSPCL was spending Rs 300 crore on augmentation of 66kv sub-stations across the state, he claimed that in the coming paddy season, power supply would be much better. He, however, did not make any promise of no power cut.
He added that all the 33 kv sub-stations in the state would be augmented to 66 kv and hence there would be no 33 kv sub-station left.
Earlier, independent MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains had alleged that land worth Rs 900 crore was being sold for not more than Rs 30 crore by the government.