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Puducherry electricity department on indefinite strike against privatisation


To protest the government’s decision to privatise electricity distribution and retail sales, all employees and engineering staff of the Department of Electricity in Puducherry went on an indefinite strike on Wednesday.

A spokesperson of the Joint Action committee of the Employees and Engineers of Department of Electricity said, “Privatisation of distribution of power is a step in the wrong direction”.

“Already, the action committee had made it clear that the people had joined the service as government staff and wanted to work in the same capacity,” he added.

According to the spokesperson, the department has been operating effectively for decades and there is no need to privatise the distribution of power. The striking workers occupied a squat near the department’s main entrance and chanted anti-privatization messages.

The Central Government proposed opening up power distribution and retail sales in Puducherry a couple of years ago. The information about the tender had been made public by the territorial government. The territorial government had published the tender details in this regard. The electricity department employees would not attend to any fuse call and the counters where power bills are accepted from consumers, the spokesperson said.

Electricity Board does not exist in Puducherry. To meet the needs of the community, the Department of Electricity buys power from the Central power generating facilities.

Parties affiliated with the opposition Congress-led Secular Democratic Alliance have vehemently opposed the privatisation plan in the interim.

After alliance meeting on Wednesday, R Siva, the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, and A V Subramanian, the president of the PCC, announced that protests against the privatisation of the power sector would begin on 30┬áSeptember. “Our protests will continue until the move is abandoned,” he declared.

(With inputs from PTI)

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