A Monday afternoon meeting between the energy minister and employees of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited would decide whether the latter would go on an indefinite strike from September 25.
Power Engineers’ Service Association (Pesa) vice-president Jitendra Pratap Singh said: “Energy minister Bijendra Yadav has called a meeting at 4pm on Monday in which we will put forward our demands. If the talks are not satisfactory, we will go on an indefinite strike from September 25.”
On Friday, thousands of people watched on screen how angry employees had clashed with police, paralysing the power distribution system in the state.
Singh added: “Our demands are genuine and the government has to fulfil it else it should not complain when power situation in the state is affected.”
Heads of all the 17 power employees’ unions would also attend the meeting.
One of their key demands includes the removal of North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd managing director Sanjay Kumar Agrawal. “Agarwal’s misbehaviour with officials has affected the work at large. Without giving proper reasons, he suspends and transfers employees. He should be removed as soon as possible,” one of the agitating employees claimed.
The unions also have strong reservation over appointment of distribution franchise and outsourcing. A memorandum containing various demands (see chart) and other issues had been submitted to Sandeep Poundrik, the energy secretary and chairman-cum-managing director of Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd.
Energy minister Yadav said: “Friday’s incident should not have taken place and I am deeply hurt by the clash. The police should have not caned the employees also.”
However, S.K. Singh, chief engineer (commercial), North Bihar Power Distribution Company Ltd, who was beaten up allegedly by agitating employees of the power company, has lodged an FIR at Kotwali police station against Pesa secretary Aswani Kumar, Pesa president Birendra Prasad, Pesa spokesperson B.L. Yadav and two assistant engineers posted in the headquarters — Suman Anand and Shiv Shankar Pandey.
On the other hand, Pesa president Prasad has demanded judicial probe into the Friday clash. “We do not have any trust in the district magistrate’s report.”
RJD chief Lalu Prasad has also attacked the government: “How can the police beat up engineers mercilessly? It is all happening on the instruction of the chief minister?”
Removal of Nbpdcl managing director Sanjay Kumar Agrawal
Stop outsourcing work
Change in term and condition of recruitment policy
Free electricity between 100 & 150 units to all
More payment for more work
Contract engineers should be first priority in case jobs are regularised
Implementation of assured career progression scheme under Sixth
No vindictive action
be taken against any
employee for the