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Home News Power Sector News High Court intervenes - JSEB unions call off strike

High Court intervenes - JSEB unions call off strike

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Jharkhand HCThe Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) employees on Friday called off the strike on 07-12-2012 following a Jharkhand high court order. The strike led to statewide blackout for two days affecting normal life and causing loss worth crores of rupees to business houses. Refusing to hear the counsel representing the employees, division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Chandra Tatiya and Justice Jaya Roy asked the striking workers to first call off the strike.

Over 7,500 power board employees, under the banner of Co-ordination Committee of JSEB Engineers Officers Employees Association, had gone on strike against appointment of two distribution franchisees, Tata Power and CESC.

Prashant Chaturvedi, convener of the employees' association, said the strike had been called off within five minutes of the court order and power was later restored across the state. The court had taken suo motu cognizance of the strike at the instance of counsel Rajiv Kumar which was later turned into a PIL.

The association told the court that the strike would be withdrawn in five minutes and its effects would be visible across the state within half an hour from the time of withdrawal, said Rajiv Kumar. Later, the employees' association prayed to the court for justice in the wake of the MoU signed by the state electricity board with the two private players.

The court also asked JSEB what alternate steps it had taken to ensure that its consumers did not suffer without power and water. The next date of hearing was fixed for December 19.

Though power was partially restored in the state capital from Thursday late evening, the situation came under control on Friday afternoon after the strike was called off.

"Power has been fully restored across the state except in a couple of rural feeders in Dumka where the agitating employees had damaged equipment at the feeder," said JSEB chairman S N Verma, adding that a number of FIRs had been lodged in this connection.

Verma said to ensure uninterrupted power supply, JSEB had made alternate arrangements with NTPC, Power Grid Corporation, Tata Power, TVNL JUSCO and Usha Martin.Though the matter was sub judice and the court had not restrained the association from protesting, members will continue to protest by way of conducting a seminar, involving other states, on franchisee system, or can even organize indefinite sit-ins before the board headquarters.

"This will, however, be decided at a meeting of the co-ordination committee," he said, adding that MoU was a policy shift of the government as franchising has never happened in any board before unbundling.

Source- TOI


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