A message from the Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (Electricity Employees Joint Struggle Committee) Uttar Pradesh
Negotiations fail – electricity workers strike against the privatisation of the Chandigarh Electricity Department
The Chandigarh Electricity Department—a department that provides the cheapest electricity in the country and has constantly made profits for the last 7 years with a turnover of Rs. 1000 crores and only 9.2% line losses, where the tariff has not been increased for the last 5 years—is set to be privatised by the central government. On 21st night, for the first time in the last 2 years, the Advisor to the Governor interacted with the electricity workers. However, no concrete assurance was given in the talks. As a result, the electricity workers have gone on a 3-day strike from 12 am on 22 February.
Comrades! I want to say very humbly that what is happening in Chandigarh today will happen in the states tomorrow. Chandigarh is a union territory, so the central government is directly privatising the electricity department of Chandigarh. They are not even waiting for the Electricity Amendment Bill to be passed or for the finalisation of the standard bidding document. In their haste for privatisation, all norms have been shamelessly ignored. They are selling 100% stake in Chandigarh. The buyer is Goenka’s Kolkata Electricity Power Company, which is infamous for selling the most expensive electricity in the country. The assets of Chandigarh Electricity Department worth Rs. 25,000 crores are being sold for only Rs. 871 crores and their land, which is worth crores of rupees, is being leased for only Re. 1!
The strike is 100% successful. Fifteen lakh electricity workers across the country stand with the electricity workers of Chandigarh.
Vidyut Karmchari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, Uttar Pradesh