Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent
UP power staff boycotted work on 29th March 2022 to express their anger against the State Electricity Board and have warned that they would boycott work from 4th to 6th April if their demands are not fulfilled. The Rajya Vidyut Parishad Abhiyanta Sangh and Rajkeeya Vidyut Parishad Junior Engineers Sangathan have demanded investigations into the alleged scam of thousands of crores of rupees that the Electricity Board is involved in. They have declared that they will boycott work for three days by taking mass casual leave. Already more than 4500 leave applications have been submitted to the management.
Power engineers participated in the All India General Strike on 28th and 29th March 2022 in huge numbers across the country. Along with this, electricity employees at Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Limited and Panki Power House in Uttar Pradesh had boycotted work to demand investigations into the alleged scam of thousands of crores of rupees that the Electricity Board is involved in. Employees gathered at the Sector-16 Electricity Department office and demanded an immediate investigation in the matter they had raised.
The engineers under the banner of the Rajya Vidyut Parishad Abhiyanta Sangh and Rajkeeya Vidyut Parishad Junior Engineers Sangathan workers are agitated over the Board’s involvement in the ERF software launching scam, rigging in the process of buying electricity at higher rates, and the harassment of power employees. Protesting engineers revealed that the power generation units producing electricity at the rate of 4 rupees per unit were shut down. Instead, electricity was bought from private generation companies selling it at 20 rupees per unit and supplied across the region. This was done deliberately to ensure huge profits to some private players. All this was at the cost of consumers and workers of the electricity sector and to serve the interests of a few corporate houses. The amount of money involved in this is estimated to be of the order of thousands of crore.
The employees have also accused the Board of buying an ERF software from a private company at an exorbitantly high price of about 750 crores of rupees. They claim that a similar software can be produced at much cheaper rates by their own workers. Employees that are raising their voices against such malpractices are being harassed by the management. Hence, the power sector workers have come together to demand an investigation into the matter and an end to the oppression of the workers.
Power staff boycotted work on 29th March 2022 to express their anger against the Electricity Board and the Rajya Vidyut Parishad Abhiyanta Sangh and Rajkeeya Vidyut Parishad Junior Engineers Sangathan have warned that they would boycott work again from 4th to 6th April by taking mass casual leave if their demands are not fulfilled. Already more than 4500 leave applications have been submitted to the management.
Buying electricity at higher prices and shutting down units that generate electricity at cheaper rates is anti-people. It is clearly done to ensure profits for a few private capitalists while consumers suffer and workers are blamed for the losses resulting from such pro-capitalist practices. We all must come together and support the just struggle of the electricity workers!