NPDCL artisan ends life over better service rules

An artisan employed as an operator at the Polasa sub-station of the Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSNPDCL) in Jagitial district, ended his life by hanging himself from a tree branch on the premises of the sub-station on Sunday morning.

A brief note apparently written by Ankam Buchi Raju, 43, was found at the spot in which he demanded “implementation of APSEB Rules for all the 23,000 artisans working for the power utilities in the State”.

The incident happened a day after suspension of another artisan, G. Nagaraj, by the management of Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) on charges of “indulging in spreading false rumours about the managements and instigating workers to strike”.

Mr. Nagaraj, who is also the president of Telangana Vidyut Workers’ Union, had been demanding implementation of APSEB Rules for all artisans working in the four power utilities in the State. His union gave a notice to the managements for regularisation of artisans by extending the APSEB Rules.

Several electricity employees’ unions have appealed to artisans not to resort to the extreme step in a fit of emotion, assuring them that all the unions were ready to fight in support of the main demand of regularisation of artisans. Secretary general of Telangana State Electricity Employees’ Union-327 affiliated to INTUC E. Sridhar, who participated in the funeral of Buchi Raju along with other employees, demanded that the managements and government regularise the service of artisans.

Appealing the managements not to resort to coercive measures against artisans demanding implementation of at least APSEB Rules, Mr. Sridhar said they would not hesitate to go on a lightning strike if the demand was not met.

Telangana Electricity SC and ST Employees’ Union secretary general M. Ramesh said it was with the united struggle by all employees. President of Telangana Backward Classes Employees’ Federation D. Sammaiah urged the artisan community not to act in haste and requested the union leaders and managements of the power utilities to maintain restraint.

Over 23,000 artisans, who were working on an outsourcing basis till then, were ‘absorbed’ into the utilities as artisans in four grades based on their skills following an assurance given by the State government in July 2018. Their remuneration was enhanced as a consolidated amount without any role of outsourcing agencies, who used to have a cut in the wages. The managements had issued service rules for artisans in December last without the acceptance of the unions.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 7:34:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/npdcl-artisan-ends-life-over-better-service-rules/article34014789.ece

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