Puducherry, June 2 Engineers and employees of the Puducherry electricity department will intensify their fight against the privatization of the power department with a hunger strike from June 8 onwards.
The protesting employees said that the strike will not affect the functioning of the department as it would be carried out on a rotation basis.
In a statement, P. Velmurugan of the employees association said that an uninterrupted power supply will be ensured in the Union Territory and that people will in no way be affected by the strike.
Notably, the employees had conducted a pen-down strike a week before demanding that the central and state governments refrain from privatization.
Velmurugan said that even after Chief Minister N. Rangasamy’s assurance that privatization will not take place without the employee’s and general public’s consent, the process is in on.
He said that they have met the Superintendent Engineer, who also heads the department, regarding it and informed him of the impending hunger strike.
The employees have informed the territorial government that their status as the government employees is retained and that their service conditions are not affected.
The opposition Secular Progressive Democratic Alliance (SDPA) has conducted protests against the privatization of the power department. The alliance led by Congress even held a human chain protest against the move in which former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V. Narayanaswamy, leader of opposition and DMK leader R. Siva, CPI- M state secretary R. Rajangam, and CPI state secretary A.M. Saleem participated.
The leaders said that a chain of protests will be conducted in the union territory against the government’s move. They said that the privatization would lead to a five-fold increase in electricity bills, an increase in charges for new connections, and the scrapping of 100 units of free power to those below the poverty line and farmers.