Puducherry government floats tenders for privatisation of power distribution

This comes after months of the regime attempting to convince employees to accept the privatisation move.

Published: 28th September 2022 04:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2022 04:42 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY:  Puducherry government on Tuesday floated tenders inviting proposals for the privatisation of the Union Territory's power distribution, sparking a call for an indefinite strike by Puducherry Electricity Department staff from Wednesday. This comes after months of the regime attempting to convince employees to accept the privatisation move.

The tender notification is for the selection of bidders for the purchase of 100% shares in the company that deals with the licensed distribution and retail supply of electricity in the UT. According to the tender notice, the submission of bids begins from September 30 and ends on November 25. The bid will be opened on November 28.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Electrical Engineer & Labour Anti-Privatisation/Corporatisation Movement P Velmurugan said they would assemble at the head office of the PED on Wednesday to protest against this, and advised staff not to engage in any department work.

This comes as the employees have been opposing the privatisation through a series of agitations and stoppage of taking metre readings. They had put forth their demand for an assurance that the engineers and employees will continue as government servants till retirement in the event of privatisation. "Without their option, they cannot be transferred to a private entity as per Rule 37 of CCS (Pension) Rules," said Velmurugan. They had earlier also argued that privatisation was unnecessary as the department was functioning more efficiently than privatised utilities as the supply average cost was lesser than privatised DISCOMS.

It may be noted that following the Centre's direction, the AINRC-BJP government in the UT has given a nod for the move after a cabinet meeting. Following this, employees began their agitation with a pen down strike from May 31, followed by a hunger strike for five days. Opposition parties and trade unions came out in support of them and organised stirs. Thereafter, a  five-day relay fast was held. They did not take meter reading for all connections from July 1 and were not giving any new connections. They also boycotted desk work.

Meanwhile, the government responded by outsourcing services of spot meter readings and billing for low-tension consumers through a government notification issued on August 23. 

India Matters


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