In the midst of severe cold, thousands of employees of Jammu and Kashmir’s electricity department have gone on indefinite strike and there is power failure in a large part. In view of the situation, the army has been called to restore power supply. Army personnel have been seen helping employees on power supply at several power stations. A joint team of Army and MES personnel has taken over the responsibility at Thodi sub-station in Rajouri. POWERGRID team has also succeeded in restoring power supply in Samba district.
Twenty thousand employees are protesting the government’s move to merge Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department with Power Grid Corporation of India and hand over assets to private companies. The workers have been on strike since Friday midnight.
They have decided that unless the government accepts their demands, they will not do repair and maintenance work. The employees want to change the government’s decision on privatization of assets, regularization of daily wage power workers and release of salaries.
Electricity is completely stalled in many districts. There is also news of power failure in Jammu and Srinagar. Kashmir is already facing prolonged power cuts during winters due to the huge gap between supply and demand.
Employees have been protesting since yesterday in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir. From lineman to senior engineer, every employee of the power development department is a part of the strike.
Officials say talks have been held with the striking workers, but the situation has not been successful in melting the ice between the two. Employees say that assets built up for decades by governments in Jammu and Kashmir are now up for sale under the Union Territory administration.
The temperature in Srinagar has reached minus 6 degrees, while in many other areas of Kashmir the temperature is even lower. The Meteorological Department has forecast that the minimum temperature may decrease further and there may be snowfall this week.