The state government on 24-06-2016 invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), inviting sharp reaction from power employees, who have announced to go on strike on June 29 and 30.
"The government wants to terrorise us with ESMA. We are still open for talks with the CM if he has any solution. During the strike we will try to maintain electricity for emergency services," said Kanwar Singh Yadav, state president of the Haryana State Electricity Workers' Union and senior member of the Joint Action Committee of Power.
Power department sources said the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) had hired private contractors for the maintenance and operation of 23 "high revenue earning" power subdivisions of various districts. Under the new arrangement, the power authorities will pay Rs 22 to 23 lakh to a private contractor for a district every month for the maintenance of power lines. Private contractors will take care of breakdowns and ensure rectification of faults and the government employees would collect bills and look after other departmental issues.
Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Power Rajan Gupta said they had made all required arrangements to maintain power supply, but refused to share details.
As per notification issued today, the state government announced that treating the distribution and maintenance of supply of electricity as an essential service to the people, the government had invoked ESMA for six months in view of the strike call.
"The government has prohibited strike in Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited, Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited, UHBVN and DHBVN for six months with immediate effect," said a government spokesman.