Electricity employees of Chandigarh, under the banner of UT Powermen Union, held a rally and demonstration against privatisation of UT Electricity department, which they described as well running and profit making. They also expressed anger at the indifference of authorities at genuine demands of employees which have been pending for a long time.
The demonstration was organised before the electricity office in sector 19-B, Chandigarh. Union general secretary Gopal Datt Joshi strongly criticised the privatisation policy of the Government of India. He alleged that the decision of the Chandigarh administration to privatise UT electricity department is in violation of the Electricity Act, 2003.
According to him, the six firms in the fray for the privatisation project include Sterlite Power, ReNew Wing Energy, NESCL (NTPC), Adani Transmission Ltd, Tata Power and Torrent Power. However, he said, the engineering department had issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to 20 intended bidders.
The UT administration recently got relief from the Supreme Court after the Apex court vacated the stay on privatisation. Recently, the UT administration challenged the stay order in the Apex court. On December 1, the high court stayed privatisation till the next hearing and issued a notice to the Union government, UT administration and UT chief engineer on a petition filed by Gopal Dutt Joshi, general secretary, UT Powermen’s Union.
Challenging UT’s decision to float tender for privatisation, the petitioner submitted that electricity rates were less in Chandigarh in comparison with neighboring states and still the department was in profit. Despite that good financial state, the UT administration wanted to privatise it, he said.