TERMINATION OF ELECTRICIAN SHORT-CIRCUITS FOR NHPC, LEADS WORKERS TO SIT ON DHARNA, ATTRACTS ATTENTION OF SOUTH DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION, EXPOSES DENIALS AND HURTS
NAMCHI, 06 May: A direct result of the 2-day bandh called by the ruling party to highlight labour rights has been the empowerment of workers who have since then been more expressive in getting themselves heard and demanding better working arrangements. The latest manifestation of this forcefulness was seen at the District Administrative Centre here today where more than 200 contract workers engaged at the Rangeet Nagar power station by the NHPC trooped today to get their demands heard and stared down the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation to heed their demands.
The flashpoint was the Rangeet HEP power station at Hingdam, South Sikkim, which follows the roundly criticised practise of hiring its workforce via a labour contractor. The spark was the termination of the services, “without any valid reasons” the protesting workers insist, of one Om Prakash, an electrician employed on contract basis by the NHPC. Protesting this issue, the workers began a dharna on 02 May at the power station, and weaved around the termination incident, listed out 11 demands enumerating denials they have been suffering for a long while now.
These demands were submitted to the NHPC Chief Engineer, Rangeet Nagar Power Station, the next day, 03 May.
When the deadlock showed no signs of approaching a resolution, the District Magistrate [South], AK Singh, called a hearing today to bring both sides to the discussion table.