AP bifurcation blues continue to haunt power sector staff

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on April 02, 2020

Even as the sixth anniversary of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh falls in June, various issues relating to the division continue to haunt both the States, across several sectors.

As many as 1,239 power sector employees of the united Andhra Pradesh are still in a limbo after multiple litigations and a recent order of the one-man committee of Justice DM Dharmadhikari asking the utilities in the two States to pay regular salaries to these employees from April 1, 2020.

In a relief to these employees, the Dharmadhikari Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve various issues relating to power utilities, had last week issued directives to the power utilities of both the States to pay their salaries from April 1.

As per the earlier order issued to the four power utilities of the Telugu States, Justice Dharmadhikari had mentioned that 655 employees relieved by Telangana power utilities and 584 employees relieved by AP utilities were yet to join duties as they are awaiting postings.

Since they have not been allocated any duties, and yet to be allowed to join work by the utilities, they are faced with uncertainty and have to go without salaries.

As there have been innumerable representations from these employees and their families, the Justice also made it clear that the committee would take up various outstanding issues with regard to allocation and salary arrears once the restrictions imposed by the Centre and State governments due to Covid-19 outbreak are lifted and normalcy restored.

Meanwhile, AP power utilities have sought urgent directives from the committee with regard to reposting of these electricity employees. They have contended that the Telangana utilities have not adhered to the directions of the committee and did not take back the employees.

The erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board Engineers’ Association stated that the Telangana power utilities have not taken aboard the 655 employees relieved by AP, following the order of the Committee passed on March 11, 2020.

APTransco Joint Managing Director KVN Chakradhar Babu in a letter to the committee highlighted the orders passed and the need to adhere to the various directives. He mentioned various practical and procedural difficulties for the utilities of both the States and requested the Committee to pass appropriate orders.

The contention of a section of employees with regard to allocation is that employees hailing from 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh were being discriminated against. This is seen to be holding up the allocation of staff to respective utilities.

Last month, AP utilities relieved 655 power employees adhering to the committee directions.

However, the Joint Action Committee of Employees in Telangana is opposed to the induction of these employees stating that the allocation was against their interests. They urged TSGenco and TSTransco not to accept the directive to induct 655 employees.

The vexatious issue gets further complicated if the final settlement of issues is taken up after normalcy due to the virus spread returns. This leaves these staff in a quandary.

Published on April 02, 2020

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