NEW DELHI: Ahead of a proposed strike by employees of power utilities in the Capital, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has invoked Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) as a pre-emptive measure. He declared the supply and distribution of electricity as “essential” services after three discoms wrote to the Delhi government saying they fear that the strike would cripple power supply to the city.
The engineers and employees have planned a day’s strike on January 8 or January 9 against the privatisation policies of the Centre and join a nationwide strike called by central trade unions on one of the days. A Delhi government notification issued on Friday evening read, “The Delhi LG... prohibits the strike by electricity employees and engineers (BSES, BSES Yamuna and TATA power) for a period of six months.”
Sources said an electricity strike called by unions would bring life to a standstill in the national capital, as continuous power supply is critical to ensuring that essential services in the city are not hit.
The three discoms had also written to the Delhi government’s department of power, requesting them to invoke ESMA for power utilities due to the proposed nationwide strike called by the unions.
The discoms told the government, “… it is imperative that the necessary provisions under the ESMA may be invoked well before January 8 to prohibit strikes which may lead to the total disruption of essential services.”
ESMA was invoked after three discoms wrote to the Delhi govt saying the strike would cripple power supply to the city
The Delhi govt notification was issued on Friday
The discom staff are also likely to join a strike by central trade unions on the issue