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Home News Power Sector News JSEB to outsource maintenance, unions go on 72-hour strike

JSEB to outsource maintenance, unions go on 72-hour strike

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JharkhandGiven the shortage of manpower and the inability of board staff to cater to the line faults on time, Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) is all set to handover line maintenance to a franchisee from November. The experiment is to begin with Ranchi and parts of Jamshedpur that come under the board. The idea to invite franchisee for maintenance could be seen as one step forward in the earlier plan under which the board engaged private parties for meter reading and distribution of electricity bills to the power consumers.

 JSEB chairman S N Verma had expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of private agencies that were vested with the responsibility of carrying out meter reading and distribution of energy bills. It was after several complaints lodged with the board and applications moved before the consumer grievance redressal forum from time to time against inordinate delay in distribution of bills that the board decided to handover the responsibility to a big company that can take care of the issues centrally. Verma said, "Apart from meter reading and bill distribution, the franchisee being appointed for Ranchi and Jamshdepur would have the additional responsibility of attending to the local faults and maintaining the lines." Ruling out apprehensions of the board employees and unions of it being a move towards privatization of the board he said, "The effort is aimed at countering the problem arising due to manpower crunch."

Fearing privatisation and threat to the jobs, around 7000 contract and man-day workers of the board have proceeded on 72-hour token strike. Though the effect of strike was not felt in the capital on the first day, union members claimed that once there is a major fault the board officials would understand the importance of keeping maintenance in its own hands.

One of the unions of JSEB, Jharkhand Power Engineers Service Association, has threatened to go on indefinite strike, the day the notification in this regard is issued whereas another unit, Jharkhand Power Workers Union continued for the second day on strike shouting slogans and squatting at their respective offices all over the state.

Source- TOI


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