Power of protest - at Ramagundam in Telangana

1.5 million to strike against power Bill on Dec 15

Demonstrations today call for ‘total boycott’

All India Power Engineers Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey warns against rushing the Bill through

By VIRENDRA SINGH RAWAT

LUCKNOW, Dec 8, 2021 (The CONNECT) - Nearly 1.5 million power sector employees and engineers will stage a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on the next Wednesday to warn the Centre against the proposed tabling of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2021 in Parliament.

As a prelude, the government sector, both central and states, power staff held protest meetings on Wednesday across the country with the pledge to resort to “total work boycott” on the same day if the Bill is “unilaterally” introduced.

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairman Shailendra Dubey said since the Bill was listed for tabling in the current winter session of Parliament, protest meetings were organised at all the district headquarters across the country.

“On Dec 15, the power employees and engineers will hold a massive demonstration at Jantar Mantar. Any move by the Centre to table the Bill will be strongly opposed by 1.5 million employees by resorting to total work boycott and day long demonstrations across the country, he warned.

He noted the Bill should not be “rushed through” and instead referred to the Parliament standing committee on energy. “The main stakeholders (power consumers and employees) should be given the opportunity to place their view point before placing it in Parliament.”

He alleged the Electricity Act 2003 allowed the privatisation of generation through de-licensing, and now the proposed Bill will pave the path for the privatisation of power distribution through similar de-licensing.

“The private power companies will go for cherry picking in supplying electricity to consumers, and will prefer supplying to only high revenue earning industrial and commercial consumers which will drive state discoms to further bankruptcy,” Dubey warned.     

He also lashed out at the Centre for reportedly saying it was more concerned about the profitability of private power companies than protecting consumer interests.

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