Strike by power dept. staff enters the second day

The indefinite strike by electricity workers to oppose the Centre’s privatisation of power distribution in the Union Territory entered the second day on Tuesday even as Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy appealed to the agitators to call off the stir against his assurance of an audience with the Union Power Ministry to air their grievances.

Most electricity offices remained shut and workers led by the joint action committee of engineers and other staff categories staged demonstrations at various establishments of the Puducherry Electricity Department in spite of Section 144 of the CrPC imposed by the District Collector. Several workers also gathered on the premises of the main office in Dubrayapet and raised slogans against the privatisation move.

Addressing a press conference, the Chief Minister said the government was supportive of the workers’ demand against privatisation of the power distribution sector.

The Puducherry Assembly had passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the move and this was also conveyed to the Prime Minister and the Union Power Minister, Mr. Narayanasamy said.

Pointing out that the workers had suspended their stir after he convened talks with the representatives last month, Mr. Narayanasamy appealed to the striking staff to not inconvenience the public, especially during the festival of Pongal. “Your stir is against the Centre and the government here is with you on the issue. So, I appeal to the workers to call off the stir that could cause hardship to the people.”

He assured workers that he would take a delegation of their representatives for talks with the Power Ministry after Pongal. The Electricity Department, meanwhile, has been taking steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers. Several temporary field staff have been drafted in to restore supply without delay in case of disruptions.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:35:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/strike-by-power-dept-staff-enters-the-second-day/article33562761.ece

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