Decks have been cleared for unbundling of Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) after the Supreme Court of India disposed all petitions filed before it challenging the unbundling. Following the decision state energy department is gearing up to carry out the unbundling within couple of months. As mandated under the central electricity act 2003, which came into effect from June 2003, the unbundling of state electricity board is due for the past ten years.
The state government after making various attempts to unbundle the board had to postpone it on at least two dozen occasions in the past. According to the provisions of electricity act 2003 every state electricity board would function as three separate licensees which includes generation, transmission and distribution companies. The energy department in Jharkhand has planned to unbundle it into four separate companies which includes a holding company in addition to supervise the functioning of three utilities.
The responsibility of finalising the modalities of unbundling has been given to the Power Finance Corporation limited by the state energy department. Director public relation JSEB P K Srivastava said that PFC would come up with its suggestions and transfer scheme following which the board would be reconstituted. "Our role is limited in this process as the energy department has to carry out the formalities," he said.
The process of unbundling was objected by the representatives of various unions of employees working in the board. One of the key organizations, the coordination committee of JSEB engineers-officers and employees union, which moved the supreme court in 2007 has now expressed its support for the move provided the state energy department adheres to the provisions of unbundling as stated in the central electricity act 2003. Convener of the committee Prashant Chaturvedi said they understand that unbundling is imminent. "We are ready to cooperate if the state energy department assures us of job security and no change in the service conditions," he said adding that if they follow the guidelines of the central act the interests of the employees would not be hampered.