Lucknow, Oct 5 : The employees in the power department of the Uttar Pradesh government began an indefinite complete work boycott from Monday in response to a call given by the UP Vidyut Karmachari Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti to protest against the proposed privatisation of the Varanasi discom.
The government said it has made all the preparations to deal with the agitation.
The UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) management had held talks with the Sangharsh Samiti leaders to persuade them to withdraw the work boycott call, but talks failed after the management rejected their proposal for effecting reforms in the energy sector without privatising it.
“After the UPPCL management turned down our reform proposal, we have asked all the power personnel to begin the full day work boycott from Monday as per the pre-declared plan,” said Shailendra Dubey, chairman of the All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).
He accused the management of misleading the government and appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to intervene into the matter to stem the growing unrest in the power sector.
UP Power Officers Association president, K.B. Ram and acting president, Avadhesh Kumar Verma on Monday met state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh, state Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu and BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra and submitted memorandum to them seeking their support to stop privatisation.
“Essential services like hospitals have been exempted from the work boycott of the staff,” Verma said.
On the other hand, the state government has hardened its stand on the issue and has warned of strict action against protestors if they tried to disrupt the power supply.
Chief secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari held a video conference with divisional commissioners, district magistrates as well as senior police officers and issued directions to deal with the situation that may arise from the power staff’s proposed work boycott from Monday.
He asked them to ensure that the power supply was not disrupted in the state.
A government spokesman said all preparations were in place to deal with the protestors.
“The government has identified critical power stations for beefing up security around them and also chalked out an action plan to hand over power transmission and distribution system to alternative staff if needed.