Special Correspondent

Chief Minister clears proposal to recruit 7,114 candidates for the present

YSR takes the decision in view of negative feedback on contractors Contractors reportedly acting as middlemen fleecing contract staff Necessary guidelines for recruitment and eligibility soon

HYDERABAD: The mass recruitment of linemen, proposed by the Government to ensure quality and reliable power supply and reduce electrocution deaths, will be `on contract basis'. However, AP Transco and distribution companies will pay the salaries to them.

This decision was taken by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy while reviewing the power supply position in the State at a meeting on Monday, in view of the feedback that contractors, acting as middlemen, were fleecing the contract staff. The Chief Minister cleared a proposal to recruit 7,114 linemen for the present.

Power Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir later told reporters that this would be a new type of contract system. The necessary guidelines for recruitment specifying eligibility for candidates would be issued in two to three days and the notification in a week.

Power supply

The Minister gave an impression that the Government did not want to take the risk of providing 24-hour power supply at this stage without further improvement in generation. Without making any commitment on his recent announcement to go ahead with round-the-clock supply, the Minister merely said that the Chief Minister had asked him and the officials to monitor the situation daily and ensure supply for most part of the day without interruptions, before going ahead with the 24-hour supply.

With only two days left for installation of capacitors on agriculture pumpsets before the May 31 deadline, the Minister did not clarify if it would be extended again. Farmers have installed capacitors on 18 lakh pumpsets out of the total of 22.5 lakh in the State so far (75.6 per cent), he said. He hoped farmers would fix capacitors to the remaining pumpsets in the next two days.

Warangal, Karimnagar, Ranga Reddy, Chittoor, Nellore, Kurnool and Anantapur districts have been found lagging behind in the fixing of capacitors. The Collectors and superintending engineers concerned have been asked to do to the needful within the next two days.