December 19, 2021 3:40:50 am
From linesmen to engineers, around 20,000 employees of Jammu and Kashmir’s Power Transmission and Distribution Corporations went on an indefinite strike on Saturday to protest against the administration’s decision to merge the Jammu and Kashmir divisions with the Power Grid Corporation of India.
The strike began after two rounds of talks failed to break the stalemate. The protesters — who said they will ensure supply of power for essential services — are opposed to the merger with the central government entity. It was announced by the J&K administration on December 4.
Protesters pointed out that in 2019, after the erstwhile state was bifurcated into Union Territories of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K Power Development Department was divided into Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. and Power Distribution Corporation Ltd. for both Kashmir and Jammu divisions.
While the PTCLs maintain transmission lines above 33 KV in their divisions, the PDCLs take care of transmission lines up to 33 KV and the grid stations, people aware of the matter said.
“We had already warned the government of such situation (indefinite strike),” a protesting engineer said on the condition of anonymity. Employee leaders also said that since the initial division of the Power Development Department in 2019, staff members have not been paid their salaries on time.
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