Talk between HPSEB Employees & Management fail, Joint front to conduct ‘Dharna’ on Aug 10
Shimla, Aug 9
Efforts to resolve the ongoing deadlock between the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board (HPSEB) Employees and Management proved unsuccessful on Wednesday. The management did not provide any assurance regarding the employees’ key demand for the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme in the state.
A press release issued by Heera Lal Verma, Co-convenor of the Joint Front and General Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Employees Union, stated the outcome of the discussions.
In the meeting held between representatives of HPSEB Employees and Engineers Front and the Management Director of the board, employees put forth several demands. They requested the withdrawal of four small hydroprojects located in the Chamba district, which is in the process of being transferred to the Himachal Pradesh State Power Corporation. These projects, funded by a German company with a grant of Rs 550 crore, were deemed concerning by employees as their execution by the Power Corporation might result in the state government losing the sanctioned grant.
One of the significant concerns raised by the employees was the proposed trifurcation of the board into Transmission, Generation, and Distribution wings. Employees feared that this division would effectively dismantle the electricity board. They called for an immediate halt to the campaign to separate the transmission and generation wings, arguing that such a move could jeopardize the services provided by the board and burden electricity consumers with higher tariff rates.
During the meeting, discussions also revolved around the implementation of smart metering in the board. The employees’ union urged the management to reconsider this plan, taking into account the board’s financial condition.
Although the discussions were carried out in a cordial manner, the management’s assurance to consider the suggestions did not extend to the employees’ primary demand for the reinstatement of the Old Pension Scheme.
The management indicated that they would make amendments to the memorandum on the Old Pension issue and resubmit it to the State Government’s Finance Department. However, this response failed to satisfy the union. As a result, the Joint Front has decided to continue their symbolic dharna on August 10, 2023. During the lunch break, electricity workers and engineers plan to stage a protest across the entire state.
Empower Independent Journalism – Join Us Today!
We’re committed to unbiased, in-depth journalism that uncovers truth and gives voice to the unheard. To sustain our mission, we need your help. Your contribution, no matter the size, fuels our research, reporting, and impact.
Stand with us in preserving independent journalism’s integrity and transparency. Support free press, diverse perspectives, and informed democracy.
Click [here] to join and be part of this vital endeavor.
Thank you for valuing independent journalism.
Vishal Sarin, Editor