The strike by the employees of the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited against proposed privatisation continued for a second day on Tuesday, affecting power supply in several regions of Uttar Pradesh. Major city Allahabad saw power outage for over 16 hours.
Electricity board employees sit on a dharna in Prayagraj. (Photo: PTI)
The employees including engineers of the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) are on strike protesting the privatization of the power distribution company. The strike has left many parts of Uttar Pradesh without power supply.
There were power cuts for six to eight hours in many districts of Uttar Pradesh. The power supply was reportedly disrupted at the residences of more than 30 ministers of Uttar Pradesh. Power Minister Shrikant Sharma’s residence was among the group to suffer power cut. Several VIP localities of capital Lucknow are facing power supply disruptions due to the ongoing strike.
In Allahabad, the power supply was disrupted for 16 hours. This caused a massive disruption in the water supply in the city. As a result, angry residents blocked roads on the Prayagraj-Kanpur highway. The protesters had sharp exchanges with the police personnel who came to clear the road blockade. The protesters included several women, who demanded immediate restoration of power supply.
The distribution company’s employees began their strike on Monday after the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) refused to sign the agreement that was purportedly reached with Power Minister Shrikant Sharma and the Power Employees Sangharsh Committee.
Earlier, an agreement was reached between the protesting employees and the power minister. It had been agreed that privatisation of Purvanchal Power Distribution Corporation would be postponed till March next year. During this period, the employees of the power distribution company were expected to work to reduce the power deficit.
The protesters had even announced the withdrawal of the strike. But they resumed their boycott of duty after the UPPCL chairman refused to sign the agreement.