Durgapur, March 10: The Citu has alleged that “unskilled labourers” from a Trinamul supporter’s private agency were appointed as guards at Durgapur Projects Ltd, when only ex-servicemen should be recruited for the job.
The office of the accountant general (economic and revenue sector audit) had in January written to the DPL’s adviser and deputy general manager that the appointments were “not at all justified”.
“The management engaged (15.09.2012 and 19.09.2012) Clifford Facility Services Private Limited and Awadh Security Services Private Limited both for plant and township area. Both the parties engaged the security personnel from the date of placement of LOI….. The management engaged Sumana Enterprise…. The engagement of unskilled casual labour as security personnel was not at all justified,” the letter, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, said.
A senior power department official in Calcutta confirmed that only ex-servicemen could be employed as security guards in state-owned power plants.
Mriganka Majumdar, the managing director of DPL, refused comment, saying it was an “internal matter”.
Calls to minister Manish Gupta went unanswered.
According to Citu leaders in DPL, altogether 60 unskilled labourers were engaged as guards by the power utility and coke plant through Sumana Enterprise in September last year.
The leaders pointed out that the decision violated an order issued by the management in 1995 that said only ex-servicemen could be employed for the posts.
A Citu leader alleged that Sumana Enterprise was owned by the wife of Shibesh Pandit, said to be close to Debdas Majumdar, the general secretary of the INTTUC-led union at DPL.
Asked about the allegation, Majumdar said: “The allegations by Citu are baseless. It was Citu that indulged in such favouritism at DPL during Left rule. Everything is done fairly now,” he said.
Sources said the allegations by the CPM’s labour wing were prompted by the sacking of 90 of its supporters as guards in 2011.
Pankaj Roy Sarkar, the Citu’s convener in Durgapur, said: “The DPL management had earlier sacked 90 guards who were Citu supporters. This happened after Trinamul came to power in 2011. The management had said that the 90 were not ex-servicemen. But now they have engaged unskilled labourers as guards from an agency whose owner is a Trinamul supporter. The DPL’s board resolution says nobody other than an ex-serviceman could be engaged as a guard.”
The September letter from the accountant-general’s office also questioned the payment of salaries to the 60 guards.
“The company made the payment of unskilled casual labours from budget code 94610009 (engagement of gunman from private security agencies), although they were not gunmen. The reason for diversion of fund may please be stated to audit.” DPL sources said the plant has slots for 424 guards. DPL now has 98 of its own guards, all of them ex-servicemen and 250 ex-servicemen hired through two private agencies on contract.