Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Minister for Energy K. S. Eshwarappa on Tuesday told the Legislative Council that the Finance Department had given clearance for recruiting 1,600 staff for the five Escoms and Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd.

Replying to D.M. Putte Gowda (Congress) during the Question Hour, the Minister said this included engineers.

Although the Escoms and KPTCL were keen to regularise the services of about 4,000 linemen working on contract basis, a recent Supreme Court ruling had come as an obstacle for such plans, he said.

Mr. Eshwarappa said the Escoms had formed 10-member taluk-level committees headed by Assistant Executive Engineers to attend emergency works in the rain-affected taluks. These committees had been given vehicles to enable them to attend to rain-affected works immediately.

The Escoms and KPTCL had suffered a loss of nearly Rs. 1.33 crore in the recent heavy rains which lashed the coastal and Malnad areas.