Two-day strike to begin on Monday; Centre worried about power supply

Our Bureau | Updated on: Mar 27, 2022

FILE PHOTO: Power transmission towers are seen near the plant of new Shin Kori No. 3 reactor and No. 4 reactor of state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) in Ulsan, about 410 km (255 miles) southeast of Seoul, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA )/File Photo | Photo Credit: LEE JAE WON

States, power utilities told to ensure power supply to essential services during the strike

New Delhi, March 27

A day ahead of the two-day strike called by Central Trade Unions (CTUs), the Union Power Ministry has issued a directive to all States, power generation establishments and distribution companies to ensure that maintenance and reliability of electricity grid during the strike. The CTUs maintained that the intention of the strike is not to disrupt anything, but to give a warning to the Centre on the issues faced by working people.

The directive said all the power utilities shall take necessary measures to ensure round the clock normal functioning of the electricity grid and availability of all plants, transmission lines and substations. The Ministry also urged the CTUs that shutdown activities planned during Monday and Tuesday may be rescheduled to suitable future dates to the extent possible.

Additional manpower

The Ministry also advised that additional manpower may be deployed at all critical sub-stations/power station on 24X7 to handle any emergency conditions. "Power supply to essential services such as hospitals, defence, railways etc. should be ensured," the directive said.

The CTUs said such actions by the Centre will not create any hurdles before the workers. "The Centre did not respond to any of our charter of demands. More than 20 crore workers will participate in this strike. Strike will be complete in banking and insurance sectors and other sectors such as construction and PSUs," said CITU general secretary Tapan Sen.

Sen said it is wrong to say that the two-day strike will impact power supply. "The power generation and distribution are automated exercises now. We have no intention to disrupt anything, but we want to give a message to the Centre. Workers in power generation and distribution units have served notices and they will participate in the strike. But it will not disrupt power generation or distribution," he said and added that a strike of more days may disrupt power supply.

He added that the order of the Kerala High Court restraining the workers’ unions in Cochin Refinery, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd from going for strike is condemnable. "It is irony that strike demands are nothing to do with petitioner - company to conciliate rather the demands are more connected to the anti-national policies of the Central government to sell off all the public sector enterprises like BPCL to the private in utter disregard to the public interest," he said.

Charter of demands

The charter of demands of the CTUs include scrapping the Labour Codes and Essential Defence Services Act, accepting demands of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, stopping privatisation and National Monetisation Pipeline and food and income support of ₹7,500 per month to non-income tax paying households.

Published on March 27, 2022
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