Nearly 1,000 junior engineers of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) owing allegiance to Vidyut Diploma Abhiyanta Sangh, and engaged in generation, transmission and distribution of power throughout the state, struck work at 6am on Monday, vowing to resume only after all their demands were met.
To add to the chaos, another 3,144 daily wage workers and contract workmen under the umbrella of Jharkhand Vidyut Supply Technical Shramik Sangh declared that they too would cease work from 6am Tuesday in demand of regularisation of services of contract workmen and preference in all future appointments at JSEB.
“We have proceeded on indefinite strike beginning today after talks with JSEB failed. We had earlier staged a two-day dharna before the JSEB headquarters at Dhurwa to demand promotions for 38 junior engineers who have been in the same post for 28 years, regularisation of services of junior engineers on contract and pay and perks as per 6th Pay Commission recommendations. However, despite our efforts, JSEB refused to pay heed, leaving us with no option but to strike,” said P.K. Jayaswal, general secretary, Vidyut Diploma Abhiyanta Sangh.
Other demands of the sangh include reimbursement of cost of 50 litres of petrol every month instead of the conveyance allowance of Rs 750 per month, assured promotions to all junior engineers and an end to the privatisation.
“We have not resorted to sabotage. Our agitation will be peaceful till the end. However, with 1,000 junior engineers on strike, the effect on generation, transmission and distribution will be widespread,” Jayaswal said.
JSEB spokesperson Prabhat Kumar Srivastava, however, told The Telegraph that no disruption in generation, supply or distribution was reported from anywhere.
A control room at the JSEB headquarters in Dhurwa (phone number 0651-2400906) has been set up under chief engineer (supply and distribution).
The control room, manned by an assistant engineer, would function round the clock.