Maharashtra invokes MESMA barring power company employees from joining 72-hour strike: Will it affect your electricity supply?

Nearly 86,000 employees, officers and engineers of the three power companies, along with 42,000 contract employees and security guards will go on a 72-hour strike starting Wednesday to protest against privatisation

Sanjay JogUpdated: Wednesday, January 04, 2023, 04:51 PM IST
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72-hour protest against privatisation by Maharashtra power companies from tomorrow: Will it affect your electricity supply? Read here | File Photo

Power supply in Maharashtra may be disrupted as more than 34 organisations representing engineers, technicians, and employees of the MahaVitaran, MahaGenco and MahaTransco have given a call for a statewide strike from zero hours on January 4 till January 6 to protest against the privatisation. They are up in arms against the ‘’heinous plot of introducing Adani Group in distribution service of Navi Mumbai’s Bhandup Circle." 

However, The Maharashtra government has invoked the provisions of the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) restraining the employees of the three State-run power companies from participating in the strike.

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis met representatives of power companies

The Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who holds the energy department, convened a meeting on Wednesday at 1 pm with the representatives of these organisations while the MahaVitaran has in the meanwhile swung into action and put in place a mechanism for an uninterrupted power supply. 

MahaVitaran urges employees to call off strike

The MahaVitaran director Vishwas Pathak has called upon the unions not to go on strike. He said the electricity distribution privatisation is not new as the licenses were earlier given by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) as per the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 to promote competition. 

Over 1 lakh employees, including contractual ones, to protest

"Nearly 86,000 employees, officers and engineers of the three power companies, along with 42,000 contract employees and security guards will go on a 72-hour strike starting Wednesday to protest against privatisation," said Krushna Bhoir, general secretary of Maharashtra State Electricity Workers' Federation.

Demanded to not give Adani parallel distribution lience

‘’One of the major demands of the protesting employees is that Adani Group's power subsidiary should not be given a parallel distribution licence to make profit in Bhandup in eastern Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai," he added.

Adani Electricity Navi Mumbai Ltd his applied to MERC for a parallel power distribution license for Mulund, Bhandup, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Kharghar, Taloja and Uran which these organisations claim is the most electricity revenue generating regions of the entire state. 

Panel of power employees convenor says parallel license to Adani will impact consumers of low-income background

‘MERC may grant a parallel license to Adani Group taking advantage of the existing distribution network of the MahaVitaran. This will impact 2.8 crore consumers of the state especially below poverty line consumers with consumption within 100 units, agricultural pumps, public streetlights, water supply and government offices, said Prasanta Chowdhury, Convenor of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers.

Shailendra Dubey says license should be given only based on complete network rollout based on geographical coverage

Further, All India Power Engineers Federation chairman Shailendra Dubey said the Federation has urged the state government to intervene in the larger interest of the state and electricity consumers so that the parallel license in the same area should not be allowed to cherry-pick a few areas at the cost of the existing license.

‘’Distribution license must be given only based on complete network rollout in the identified area in terms of geographical coverage and not based on the selective rollout for high-end consumers. It would eventually lead to migration of the existing consumers leading to loss of cross-subsidy to the tune of Rs 2,468 crore to MahaVitaran,’’ he claimed.

Control room numbers:

Control room mobile numbers are 8879626138 and 8879626139 for Kalyan Mandal Office One covering Kalyan West and East, Dombivli division. Whereas the mobile numbers of control room for Kalyan Mandal office two which includes Ulhasnagar, Badlapur, Ambernath, Titwala, Murbad, Shahapur etc. are 8879626969 and 9004696511.

 7875760601 and 7875760602 are mobile numbers of Vasai Mandal Office Control Room covering Vasai, Virar, Nalasopara, Achole, Wada area. Whereas the mobile numbers of control room of Palghar mandal office covering Palghar, Boisar, Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Mokhada and Vikramgad are 9028005994 and 9028154278.

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