Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Officers, Engineers Sangharsh Samiti
9th March 2022 Mumbai
State Minister for Power Hon. Prajakta Dada Tanpure visited the agitating workers and accepted their statement. He also promised that government will not privatise government power sector companies in any way.
Thousands of workers, officers, engineers and contract workers working in Mahavitaran, Mahanirmiti and Mahapareshan companies of the state government from nook and corner of Maharashtra started gathering at Azad Maidan in Mumbai from 8 a.m. in the morning of 9th March. By 11 o’clock Azad Maidan was so crowded that it was difficult to even step into the maidan.
Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Officers, Engineers Sangharsh Samiti, formed by 27 organizations and 12 contract workers organizations, led the demonstration. More than 25 thousand electricity workers, officers, engineers and contract workers participated in the demonstration. All India Power Engineers Federation Chairman Shailendra Dubey from Lucknow, All India Federation of Electricity Employees General Secretary Mohan Sharma from Nagpur, MLA Bhai Jagtap, MLA Rahul Patil and MLA Balasaheb Kinikar addressed the meeting. The MLAs said that even though they belong to parties which are in government of Maharashtra they will raise this important question in Legislative Assembly and will not allow privatisation in the electricity sector. They also declared that they are with the workers organizations and very soon they will arrane a meeting with the power minister on this issue.
The demonstration meeting was also addressed by workers’ leaders Sanjay Thakur, Krushna Bhoyar, R.T. Dewankat, Sayyad Jaruddin, Rajan Bhanushali, Dattatray Gutte, P.B. Uke, Suyog Jhute, Sanjay Khade, Nachiket More, M.S.Sharikamsalat, Rakesh Jadhav, C.N. Deshmukh, Shivaji Waifalkar, Rajuali Mulla, S.K. Lokhande, Vivek Mahale, Prabhakar Lahane, Waman Butley, Rajan Shinde, Anil Karale, R.D. Rathod, Sitaram Chavan. Prakash Gaikwad and Prakash Shinde.
State Minister for Power Hon. Prajakta Dada Tanpure visited the agitating workers and listened to their demands. After that he addressed the agitating workers and declared that electricity distribution in none of the cities of Maharashtra will be privatised and confirmed that government has not taken any decision of privatisation. If government takes such a decision he will side with the workers and oppose such a move by the government, he declared. If electricity companies are privatised then farmers will not get the subsidy and hence he will not allow any privatisation. Central government has declared that it will take over the hydropower plants from Mahanirmiti, but he will oppose it and he further clarified that he will organize a meeting with the Minister of Irrigation and find a solution to ensure that the hydropower plants will remain with Mahanirmiti. Regarding recruitment to fill up vacancies he said that process to recruit seven thousand electricity assistants and subcentre assistants has been started already and three thousand have already been appointed so far. Since subcentre assistant recruitment process is stuck in courts there is some difficulty. He also clarified that very soon the administration will be given directives to fill up vacancies in Mahapareshan and Mahavitaran companies. He also declared that he will personally oppose formation of a separate company for electricity distribution to agriculture consumers.
Mahavitaran workers have done very good work during the pandemic and are striving to collect outstanding dues from consumers. Their efforts are indeed commendable he said. He also said that the government is looking into the proposal to give priority to existing contract and outsourced workers while filling up vacancies. Proposal to give guarantee of assured employment to them till they attend the age of 60 years is very good and government will discuss the proposal with company managements to arrive at a positive decision he promised. He also clarified that the transfer policy will be decided only after discussions with workers organisations.
Meeting after the demonstration was conducted by Sanjay Thakur and Krushna Bhoyar while Lileshwar Bansod gave vote of thanks. The agitation concluded with resounding slogans.
Demands of today’s demonstration
1) Oppose privatisation proposals in Mahanirmiti, Mahapareshan and Mahavitaran companies
2) Oppose the Central government sponsored Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021
3) Oppose the policy of handing over Mahanirmiti operated and managed Hydropower plants to private companies
4) Demand assured employment to all contract and outsourced workers till they attain the age of 60 years working currently in four companies
5) Oppose the delay in filling up vacancies in all the three companies
6) Oppose unilateral policy declaration about transfer of workers, officers and engineers working in three companies
7) Oppose unnecessary recruitment at senior levels and political interference in transfers
8) Oppose policy of formation of a separate distribution company for agriculture consumers
9) Oppose policy of handing over distribution in 16 major cities of Maharashtra to private companies as franchisees
Maharashtra State Electricity Workers, Officers, Engineers Sangharsh Samiti member organisations