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Strike cripples power supply in Jharkhand

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 07:41 hrs

pAfter signing of 15 years agreements by the Jharkhand government with Tata Power and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation CESC on Wednesday afternoon the entire state plunged into darkness because of the indefinite strike called by all the nine unions of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board JSEBppThe member distribution CD Kumar told Business Standard this afternoon that earlier this month the Unions of the JSEB had given strike threat to the JSEB management but it did not happenppJSEB board under the leadership of the chairman S N Verma has done a blueprint to face the strike threat if takes place by the unionsppThereafter we prepared ourselves to face it and initiated talks with a number of power utilities and agencies in the country to face any strike situation if arises Kumar addedppMember distribution said people from power utilities and other agencies have started arriving at the trouble spots to tackle the situation He was sure power position in the entire state would be normal from FridayppKumar said power distribution system in the steel city Jamshedpur has been badly affected on ThursdayppHowever the indefinite wildcat strike of the JSEB unions did not impact as much on the power supply on Wednesday night But today the power supply in the entire state has been paralysedppMember distribution said that after signing of the agreements with Tata Power and CESC on Wednesday the state energy secretary V K Singh categorically told media that the agreements with the Tata Power and the CESC would not lead to privatisation of the JSEBppThe apprehension on the increase of power tariff for engaging the two agencies is totally baseless The tariff rate is decided by the Jharkhand State Electricity Regularity Commission JSERC after going through public hearings and discussions with various establishments of the state the state energy secretary addedppMember distribution said that with the engagement of Tata Power and CESC both the consumers and the JSEB would be benefited much JSEB&rsquos revenue would be increased by decreasing power transmission losses as well as timely collection of electricity dues from the consumers Besides consumers grievances and complaints would be timely attended by the frachiseesppThe striking employees gathered outside the secretariat building where the agreements were signed They shouted slogans against handing over power distribution from the power board to private power utilitiesThe police dispersed the agitators from the spotppJSEB chairman S N Verma said the wildcat strike by a section of employees was &ldquoillegal&rdquo He informed the police to tackle the unruly behaviour of the striking unionsppThe agreements between the state government and the two power utilities Tata Power and CESC were signed in presence of the chief minister Arjun Munda On behalf of the state government the energy secretary Vimal Kirti Singh signed the agreementppOn behalf of the Tata Power senior general manager V Singla signed the agreement From the CESC&rsquos side the agreement was signed by its managing director Dilip Singh and executive director R BanerjeeppAfter signing agreements the energy secretary told media that both the power utilities Tata Powerand CESC would start functioning within next three months He said the steps taken by the government in handing over the power distribution system to two private agencies would be beneficial both for the consumers and the state power board JSEB The steps taken by the government in handing over the power distribution services to the Tata Power and the CESC should not be considered as a move towards privatisationppEnergy secretary said that with handing over the services to the two power agencies the revenue of the JSEB would be increased by eliminating illegal power connections and power thefts that were being done with manipulation of the metres by a section of consumersppAn official of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board JSEB said CESC will have to do lot of works like setting up of office establishments before introducing the services in Ranchi However Tata Power will not face any difficulty in introducing the services in Jamshedpur as it has required infrastructures that needed for power distribution related works he addedppSeveral consumers when contacted by Business Standard expressed satisfaction over the agreements signed with the Tata Power and CESCppThey said that were frustrated with the services of the JSEB for the last ten yearsppThey further said the state had received fourteen chairmen within last eleven years and most of them were appointed from bureaucrats The consumers of the JSEB were not received their due services from the state power board JSEB&rsquos services to consumers started deterioration since the constitution of the board in 2001ppThe lapses in the power board was due to frequent changes of the chairmen and board membersThe present chairman S N Verma is the 15th chairman of the JSEB and he joined hardly a year ago on deputation from Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited After his joining consumers were receiving some services from the power board they saidp

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