Immediately revoke unjust suspension of engineers of J&K Power Development Department

 

Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent based on inputs from Shri Shailendra Dubey, Chairman, All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF)


On 19th March, twelve Junior Engineers, Assistant Engineers and Assistant Executive Engineers were unilaterally suspended on flimsy grounds by the Power Development Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The reason given for this suspension was “higher AT&C losses.”

A meeting of the Guidance Council of Jammu and Kashmir Electrical Engineering Graduates Association (JKEEGA) was held under the Chairmanship of President Er. Sachin Tickoo and General Secretary Er. Pirzada Hidayatullah on 21st March to discuss the unjust suspension.

The members concluded that in rural areas, the power distribution infrastructure is poor and requires urgent upgradation, and there is a serious lack of adequate staff. Despite the absence of these basic requirements, the engineers working in rural areas have been trying their level best to reduce AT&C losses. Ignoring these facts, the hard-working engineers have been made scapegoats and suspended.

The resolution passed in the meeting also points out that the engineers who have been suspended had already submitted a detailed reasoned response to the show cause notices served to them and highlighted improvements made particularly in terms of billing efficiency/loss reduction on a month-on-month and year-on-year basis and overall revenue realization. As per standing norms, the response should have been assessed by a technical committee before taking any action against the engineers. However, this was not done. The engineers were instead suspended.

The resolution also pointed out the fact that that due to the strenuous efforts of all employees from all corners, the revenue realization of JPDCL/KPDCL reached an all-time high in January 2024. As far as collection efficiency is concerned, the arrears from civil departments and central government agencies are awaited against the assessment of energy used by them on a monthly basis. Nothing is being done to recover those dues.

The resolution has demanded immediate revocation of the suspension orders of the twelve engineers within a period of seven days and warned that in case the government fails to heed to the plea of the fraternity, they will resort to a complete sit-in protest across J&K against this unjustified act on 30th March 2024.

It is very important to note the fact that over the last more than 30 years, the number of consumers has increased manifold, but as per the requirement, infrastructure has not improved and there is an acute shortage of field staff and engineers even as per the norms decided way back in 1988. Now, recruitment of field staff is urgently required to cater to the demand.

The All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has immediately declared its support to the cause of the twelve suspended engineers. On behalf of AIPEF, its Chairman, Shri Shailendra Dubey, has written to Lt. Governor Jammu & Kashmir, urging him to immediately withdraw the suspension orders. (The letter is given below.)

The fight of the J&K engineers is entirely just and is worthy of support of all the members of AIFAP.

Such unilateral actions by various government departments have become the norm. Principles of natural justice, according to which an accused needs to be given an opportunity to present their defence, are being blatantly trampled. This is what we have seen in recent times in unilateral actions against loco-pilots, S&T staff, station masters and guards of Indian Railways. All the working people must unitedly oppose such unjust actions.

Upload.AIPEF letter in support of JKEEGA

 

 

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