Punjab power board employees` strike enters second day
Chandigarh: Nearly 70,000 employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) continued their strike for the second day Friday to protest the unbundling of the state electricity board.
Punjab`s council of ministers Thursday approved the restructuring of PSEB as part of its power sector reforms.
Tension prevailed in several parts of the state with heavy deployment of police and paramilitary personnel to ward off trouble from the agitating employees.
The administration also prohibited people from gathering in groups and carrying weapons in various parts of the state, including in and around PSEB offices and sub-stations.
PSEB employees refused to budge from their stand and threatened to intensify the stir.
"We are totally against the unbundling of PSEB and we will continue our protest against this move. So far the strike has been very successful as employees of various departments, including linemen to junior engineers are taking part in the strike," said Manjit Singh Chahal, spokesperson of the joint forum of PSEB employees` bodies.
He added: "We will not backtrack from here and certainly intensify our campaign in the coming days. We will chalk out our future strategy very soon. Presently nearly 80 to 85 percent of PSEB employees are observing this two-day strike."
PSEB officials were confident about running operations smoothly despite the strike.
"We did not face any problem yesterday (Thursday) and there was no major hiccup in the power supply throughout the state. We have made arrangements in advance and we are also taking help from our former employees to ensure PSEB runs smoothly," said KD Chawla, distribution member of the power board.
The state cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday had decided to go ahead with the unbundling of the PSEB and approved the formation of two separate corporations to take care of generation, distribution and transmission of power in the state.
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