The four-day-long agitation by the Power Development Department(PDD) employees was called off at midnight on Tuesday, following an agreement reached between administration and representatives of the striking employees after the government agreed on all demands of employees.
The agreement was reached between Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr Raghav Langer and Sachin Tickoo, a prominent leader of the striking employees.
Sachin Tickoo said the deadlock ended following meetings between civil administration and representatives of the Unions of striking employees. Tickoo said after the involvement of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and the power secretary the impasse has ended.
He said the government has given an assurance regarding the joint venture company and its proposal has been put on hold.
“The joint venture company was just at proposal stage after a consultative process. Now it has been assured that all stakeholders including JKPCC will examine it and take a decision about it,” he said.
He said the government has taken a decision that every district will have CPO and the delay in disbursement in the salary will not happen. “It was important for us to address our aspirations and apprehensions. That is why we have been reassured about the regularization of the engineers. And on the most important issue of daily-wagers, and technicians we have been also given assurance,” he said.
He said the government has also given assurance about employment in the Chenab Development Corporation.
Tickoo says after the midnight agreement, the employees ended their strike and started their work and restored the power.
Earlier on Monday Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha gave a warning to the striking employees, that the system will not work as per whims and fancies of some people but for 1.25 crore citizens of Jammu and Kashmir without any discrimination.
Sinha said if some people think that the system will work as per their whims and fancies, it can’t be allowed. “The system will work for 1.25 crore citizens without any discrimination. Every step of the UT administration is meant for the betterment of 1.25 crore citizens of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Sinha said he doesn’t want to name them, but some people have criticized that the Army has been called to restore electricity.
“Personnel from REC, NTPC, NHPC, and officers from the Army Engineering Corps have also come. This only shows our commitment that we restored 60% electricity yesterday and by tomorrow we will achieve 100% restoration,” he declared.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Dr Piyush Singla Monday issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr PC prohibiting employees associated with essential services water supply, electricity supply and its maintenance, food, civil supplies from calling any hartal or strike in the district. The DC had said that they will ensure that essential services are maintained, provided uninterruptedly.
The employees were accusing the government of privatizing the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir through a joint venture company and handing over the government assets built over the years to a private company. The employees held anti-government protests in Srinagar and Jammu and sought in writing from the Lieutenant Governor that it has shelved the proposal of privatisation and release salaries.
Main demands of the employees have been that in J&K power generation sector has already taken over by the NHPC (National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation and in spite of investment of 20,000 crores in power generation in the Chenab Valley under Chenab Valley Power Development Corporation and the NHPC, there is no involvement of J&K in terms of employment. It has been addressed now as the government has assured the employment of J&K engineers and others in the company.
They also said the transmission sector is in danger as the government is pushing it into indirect privatization through a joint venture with J&K Power Transmission Company, which is a government’s company. The government has also put the joint venture company on hold.