VIJAYAWADA:Andhra employees who have been relieved of their duties in Telangana power utilities have decided to intensify their agitation by staging a three-day hunger strike and taking out a peace rally in Vijayawada.
Their demand is that they be either reinstated in Telangana power utilities or absorbed in Andhra power utilities. With neither happening, all the 1,253 relieved employees have taken to streets. They organised protests and hunger strikes in Kurnool recently.
Their Joint Action Committee members will be on hunger strike from Monday to Wednesday at Lenin Centre here and they would take out a rally to Collector’s Office on September 15.
The Andhra-born employees were relieved en masse by the Telangana power utilities on June 10 despite the fact that their recruitment was not done on the basis of their nativity, JAC leaders pointed out at a media conference here Sunday. “This is unconstitutional. They cannot relieve us on the basis our nativity. The AP government too has not taken us even though there are some posts vacant in power utilities and as a result we are on the streets,” T Tara Sankar, who worked as AD in Paloncha Genco unit in Khammam district, said.
“My misfortune is that after all of us were relieved I have attained the age of superannuation. Now I am literally on the streets. I should get about Rs 35,000 per month as pension which I am not getting. This apart, Rs 12 lakh gratuity and Rs 12 lakh GPF too are held over,” he says pointing out that there is no one to forward his papers to the Provident Fund Office so that his claim can be settled. There is one more such employee, B Satyanarayana, who too retired on August 31 and both of them are cursing their fate in the evening of their lives.
According to JAC leaders, though the Centre has told both the governments to settle the issue of segregation of employees amicably, nothing of the sort has happened. Though Kamalanathan Committee has been constituted to divide the employees between AP and Telangana, no such committee has been formed for employees of corporations. “This was done with good intention as shifting of employees by a thumb rule might affect functioning of the corporations as they have to deliver services directly to the people unlike government departments,” says Tara Shankar, adding that TS took advantage of it and relieved them.
JAC Chairman D Surendra and co-chairman K Babu Rao said that the relieved employees included women, those who have health problems and in some cases, couples which is causing mental stress to them. As salaries have not been paid to them for the last three months, several of them are finding the going tough. “They are not able to pay school fee of their children, loan EMIs and so on,” they said.
They said what they wanted was that both the governments sit together and constitute a joint committee and frame rules for division of employees. “We are ready to work either in AP or Telangana. What we want is our jobs back,” they said. “When CR Kamlanathan Committee could transfer 1,005 Andhra employees to Telangana and 394 Telangana employees to Andhra, it is not fair that we should be thrown out just because we were born in Andhra,” they said.