Intensifying stir against Punjab government, engineers of power utility PSPCL today announced to switch off their mobile phones tomorrow in protest against non-acceptance of their demands. With engineers remaining incommunicado, it will be hapless power consumers who would have to face tough time as their complaints regarding load shedding remain unattended. “We have decided to sharpen our stir as per which all engineers of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) will switch off their mobile phones on May 23 from 9 AM to 5 PM,” PSEB Engineers Association President Baldev Singh said in a release. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Last-minute gift ideas if you have forgotten to get a present for your dad
Already PSPCL is imposing power cuts in urban and rural areas ranging between 1 to 4 hours because of gap between power demand and supply. Singh said engineers are being forced to intensify their stir despite being fully aware that it is going to increase the hardship of the consumers particularly those in the agriculture sector as sowing season for paddy is near. “However, in the overall long term interests of power sector and consumers, it is imperative to stem the rot,” he said. The protesting engineers would also go on mass casual leave after June 10 for one day. Also Read - Realme GT 5G India launch confirmed for November, Realme Book coming by the end of 2021
Protesters are already holding ‘work-to-rule’ agitation whereby engineers do not work after working hours. Association is protesting against the Punjab government’s move of raising the retirement age of CMD and Directors of PSPCL from 62 to 65, saying that it was the violation of tripartite agreement signed at a time of unbundling of erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 2010. “Tinkering with selection criteria or qualifications of the CMD/Directors of power companies to accommodate individuals will push the power sector in bottomless pit and an irreversible damage to the system will take place and ultimate sufferers will be the people of Punjab,” he said. “There is sluggishness in bringing down losses and improving consumer services. There is acute shortage of staff in the field both in PSPCL and PSTCL and managements are least bothered about the deteriorating consumer services,” he alleged. Also Read - Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325U review: Premium design, snappy performance
Singh alleged the state government had also failed in notifying the common recruitment and cadre of PSPCL and PSTCL. He further claimed that the issue of difference between pay scale between new engineers and old engineers had not been resolved yet. Besides, engineers have also been demanding setting up of a 1320 MW thermal power plant in state sector, rationalization of work load of engineers, and bringing distribution reforms. PSEB Engineers Association has been demanding a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to resolve the pending issues.