Power Supply Crisis Deepens in UP as Electricity Dept Staff Continue Protest against Privatisation
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The boycott of work by power engineers and employees in Uttar Pradesh against the privatisation of power distribution company Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited continued for the second day on Tuesday, leaving many parts of the state without electricity. On Monday, the chairman of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) refused to sign the agreement that was reached with Power Minister Shrikant Sharma and the Power Employees Sangharsh Committee. After this development, the employees said their boycott of work would continue.
On Monday, there was no electricity for six to eight hours straight in many parts of the state, with supply being disrupted at the power minister's residence as well. Besides this, electricity could not be supplied to the residences of a total of 36 ministers, including the deputy chief minister. The situation has remained unchanged on Tuesday with the electricity system being affected in many VIP areas of Lucknow.
With protests continuing, complaints are also not being registered by the employees of the power corporation. The breakdown occurred on Monday due to a malfunction in the 33 KV line. At present, electricity is being supplied from Martinpurwa to VVIP area. VVIP sub-center Cooper Road has been operating from Martinpurwa for the last 22 hours. If there is a disturbance in the Martinpurwa source, then there may be an electricity crisis in the entire area. From Martinpurwa, electricity is supplied to the ministers' residences including the chief minister and the deputy chief minister.
Earlier an agreement was reached between the Power Minister and the Power Employees Sangharsh Committee on Monday. Under the agreement, the employees were given a chance to reduce the power deficit and it was agreed that the privatisation of Purvanchal Power Distribution Corporation would be postponed till March next year. Subsequently, the Power Employees Sangharsh Committee announced the withdrawal of the movement. However, the UPPCL chairman refused to sign the agreement, after which the power employees decided to continue with their protests.