Lucknow, Mar 18 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh's energy minister AK Sharma on Saturday issued a stern warning to the striking electricity department employees to join their duties by 6.00 pm, or face dismissal.
Services of 1,332 contractual employees have already been terminated, he said.
Speaking to reporters here, Sharma said, "A decision has been taken to initiate action against 22 persons from the department under the ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act). Apart from this, instructions have also been issued to lodge FIR against those who are damaging the government property, and obstructing others from discharging duties. FIR has been registered against 29 persons in this regard." "Services of 1,332 contractual employees have been terminated. I once again request all the contractual employees to resume their duties by 6.00 pm, otherwise they will be dismissed from service tonight," he said.
He added that the outsourcing companies have been told to recruit new people to replace the dismissed employees.
"A list of people who have passed from the ITI, polytechnics and engineering colleges should be prepared to be hired as apprentices. A decision will be taken later (whether to continue their service or not)," he said.
Meanwhile, Shailendra Dubey, the convenor of Vidyut Karmacharis Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a union of electricity department employees, said that there are 70,000 contractual employees in the electricity department.
"The Obra Thermal Power Plant has come to a standstill. All the five units of 200 megawatt each at Obra Thermal Power Plant have shut down. The (electricity) production of Obra is zero," Dubey claimed, adding, the protest has led to a massive disruption in electricity supply in some parts of the state.
Sharma said that efforts are on to have a dialogue with the protesting employees. The employees however have sought Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's intervention to end the "atmosphere of confrontation".
They say some of their demands relating to "pay anomalies" and outsourcing of operation and maintenance of power substations, agreed to by the government December last year, have not been fulfilled by power corporations even after three months.
Dubey had in a statement on Friday said that the employees had to go on strike "because of the stubborn attitude" of the top management of energy corporations.
About 1 lakh employees are participating in the strike, according to Dubey. PTI ZIR/NAV VN VN