“We want freedom from Torrent Power” declare Bhiwandi residents on 15th August

 

Report based on inputs received from Com. Krushna Bhoyar, General Secretary of Maharashtra Electricity Workers Federation and Dr. Das, Joint Secretary Kamgar Ekta Committee

 

This 15th August, Bhiwandi residents celebrated Independence Day by declaring that they want freedom from Torrent Power. As reported on AIFAP website earlier, residents of Bhiwandi, a town close to Mumbai, have decided to refuse to accept Torrent Power as power distributor in Bhiwandi. Especially over last 2 months various people’s organizations and associations have joined hands and have been constantly venting out their anger in huge demonstrations. On 21st July under the banner of “Torrent Atyachaar Virodhi Jan Sangharsh Samiti” (People’s Struggle Committee Against Atrocities of Torrent) thousands of working men and women had organized a huge demonstration demanding “Torrent hatao”.

Again on 15th August, “Torrent Atyachaar Virodhi Jan Sangharsh Samiti” held a meeting of thousands of residents of Bhiwandi. Meeting was presided over by Advocate Kiran Channe. Comrade Krushna Bhoyar, National Secretary of All India Federation of Electricity Employees (AIFEE) and General Secretary of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation (MSEWF) , Dr.Das Joint Secretary of Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC), Comrade Uday Chaudhary & Comrade Bharti Bhoyar from AITUC and many other trade union leaders participated in the meeting. Anger of people of Bhiwandi has also forced leaders of various political parties, some of whom had earlier openly or covertly supported Torrent Power, to now take a stand against Torrent Power. Leaders of some of those parties also participated in the meeting.

Advocate Channe in his opening remarks denounced Torrent Power for its complete failure in serving people of Bhiwandi and also for its high handed behaviour with consumers. He demanded that Maharashtra State government should immediately take control of power distribution, bill collection etc. from Torrent Power and hand it over to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL).

Com. Krushna Bhoyar explained as to how due to sustained and militant opposition by National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) all over the country including Maharashtra, Central governments’ attempts to further privatise power distribution have been halted. He warned that if Central government is allowed to pass Electricity Act (Amendment) Bill 2022, then within 36 weeks, 44 electricity distribution companies owned by various state governments will be handed over to private capitalists, which will be disastrous for the working people across the country. He expressed his pleasure and confidence that united struggle by Bhiwandi power consumers and Electricity workers of Maharashtra will not only be successful in throwing out Torrent Power from Bhiwandi, but will inspire similar united resistance across the country. He expressed full active support of MSEWF and AIFEE.

Many other leaders and respected residents of Bhiwandi spoke in the meeting. It was decided to submit a memorandum consisting of 24 demands to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

 

 

 

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