15,000 electricity employees, engineers, officials, and contract workers organise a huge morcha in Thane against privatisation

Press Release by Maharashtra Rajya Veej Karmachari, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti

Press release
Thane 2.1.2023

Maharashtra Rajya Veej Karmachari, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti

(Maharashtra State Electricity Employees, Engineers, Officers Struggle Committee)

15,000 electricity employees, engineers, officials, and contract workers organise a huge morcha in Thane against private capitalists like Adani

Adani Electrical Limited Navi Mumbai, a private capitalist company, has applied to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission for a license to distribute electricity in the areas under the Bhandup circle including Thane, Mulund, Bhandup, Navi Mumbai, Belapur, Panvel, Taloja and Uran that under the jurisdiction of a government enterprise, Mahavitaran Company (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company, Ltd,).

On January 2, 2023, Power employees including workers, engineers, officers and contract workers in the government generation, transmission, and distribution companies, as well as political parties, social organizations, electricity consumers’ organizations organized a rally at 12 noon from the office of the Superintendent Engineer, Mahavitaran Company, Thane, with the following demands:
• Adani Electrical Company should not be granted distribution license.
• The state government should cancel the privatization policy of electricity companies.
• Contract workers should be made permanent.
• The process of filling 42000 vacancies in the three electricity companies should be started immediately.
• The method of letting the sub-stations commissioned after 1.4.2019 to be run by contract method should be stopped.
• The method of working by empanelment should be stopped.
• The hydro power station in Mahanirmiti Company should not be given to private capitalists.
• The public owned power industry of Maharashtra should not be given to private capitalists.

More than 15,000 electricity workers, engineers, officers, contract workers, leaders of political parties, leaders of social organizations and trade unions, and contractors of electricity companies were present in front of the Thane office of the Mahavitaran Company from the morning to participate in the march. As the Thane police initially refused permission for this march, a sit-down agitation was started. The leaders of the Sangharsh Samiti, Comrade Krushna Bhoyar, Sanjay Thakur, Arun Pival, Sanjay More, R.T. Devkat, Syed Zahirodin, Rajan Bhanushali, Rakesh Jadhav, Navnath Pawar, SK Lokhande, Vivek Mahale, Sandeep Vanjari, Suyog Zute, Sanjay Khade, Uttam Parve, Rajan Shinde, Nachiket More, SM Sharikmasalat, Shivaji Vaifalkar, Prakash Gaikwad, Praveen Verma, R.D. Rathod, Raj Ali Mulla, Mukund Hanwate, Smt. Neha Mishra, Prabhakar Lahane, Nagorao Parate, Anil Tarale, R.H. Wardhe, Lalit Shewale etc. addressed the participants.

Due to the denial of the permission of the march by the police officers, there was great dissatisfaction among the employees, engineers, officers and contract workers and representatives of the public organizations. The delegation of Sangharsh Samiti met the police chief of Thane district and requested permission to take out a march to the Collectorate. The police officers present at the protest site agreed to the request of the Sangharsh Samiti and allowed the march from the Mahavitaran office to Mulund Check Naka. The March was stopped at Mulund Check Naka. The delegation of the march gave a statement to the Thane Collector and requested that the feelings of the people, conveyed on behalf of the Sangharsh Committee should reach the Chief Minister of the state Eknath Shinde and the Deputy Chief Minister and Energy Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The Hon’ble District Collector gave an assurance that he would immediately forward the statement to the concerned.

From January 4, 2023, 86000 workers, engineers, officers and 42000 contract security guards in the state will go on a strike for 72 hours. Even after this, if the government does not stop the privatization policy of the power companies, the office bearers of the Sangharsh Committee have decided to go on an indefinite strike from January 18.

The Sangharsh Samiti appeals to the people of the state to support its struggle. The electricity employees are not fighting for any economic demand but to ensure that the electricity companies should not be sold to private capitalists because private capitalists come only with the intention of making profit. If the electricity companies go into the hands of private capitalists, the subsidies to farmers, people below the poverty line, power loom owners, consumers using electricity below 100 units, public lighting, water supply will stop entirely, as will cross subsidies. Adivasis and others living in far flung areas will be deprived of electricity. This is because capitalists will take over only profitable areas and leave unprofitable areas with Mahavitaran. The deficit of Mahavitaran will increase day by day. The subsidy to 44 lakh farmers in the state will be completely stopped.

Yours faithfully,
Maharashtra Rajya Veej Karmachari, Abhiyante, Adhikari Sangharsh Samiti
(Maharashtra State Electricity Employees, Engineers, Officers Struggle Committee)

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