Ranchi, 15 June-2014, TNN: State energy minister Rajendra Prasad Singh’s efforts to improve power supply may hit a road block with Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) engineers and employees’ coordination committee threatening to stage a three-day dharna at the Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (JUVNL) headquarters and further stay away from work for an indefinite period if their demands are not met with.
The committee on Saturday sought immediate circulation of the minutes of a meeting that was held with the energy minister on February 8.
“The minister had agreed to get an agreement for Ranchi and Jamshedpur audited by the comptroller and auditor general and cancel the franchisee given unlawfully to the parties in urban areas,” said convener of the committee Prashant Chaturvedi.
He said the coordination committee would call off its proposed strike only if there is an assurance that the transfer scheme of board under which it was unbundled will be made public.
“The minister had also agreed to continue with 20% higher salary of employees at utility companies than state employees in the wake of tough working conditions,” he said.
Chaturvedi said they had objected to the contents of the draft of the minutes and had asked the government to circulate a corrected version but the matter had remained pending all these months.
Describing unbundling of the state power board as a decision taken in haste, Chaturvedi said the move resulted in unprecedented power shortage in the state.
“If the government was really prepared why were they late in appointing MDs and directors to the four newly formed companies? The delay in decision making resulted in eventual darkness all over the state,” he argued.
The committee has alleged that the Central Electricity Act 2003 mandates rural franchisee for villages which is to be given in consultation with the panchayat samity.
“Instead of consulting the panchayat samity, the franchisee has supplied electricity to sub divisions, irrespective of them being rural or urban in nature,” Chaturvedi said.
Demanding dissolution of the rural franchisee agreement, the committee has also demanded moratorium on the bidding process for Patratu Thermal Power station without asset valuation at market rate.
“The government has decided to invite private parties without considering the asset value of PTPS which is roughly Rs.4000 crore,” he said.