On 15th July, workers of electricity distribution companies (discoms) protested in front of the Superintendent Engineer’s office at the junction in opposition to the proposal of the Rajasthan government to privatise the Electricity Boards in Hanumangarh. Later, the workers submitted their demands to the Collector at his office.
At present, 48000 workers are employed by the Electricity Corporations. They are furious with the government’s moves to privatise these Corporations.
Workers from all the Junctions and Sub-divisions of Pilibanga, Goluwala, Tibbi, Rawatsar, Bhadara, Nohar, Sangriya, Gogamedhi, Town and Junction were present at the demonstration. Workers expressed their unequivocal opposition and warned the government that the protests would intensify if this move to privatise was not retracted.
It is to be noted that moves to bring the existing distribution companies under private control in the three large cities of Rajasthan – Ajmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur, besides the state capital Jaipur, have already begun. Recently that the state government has given the green signal to privatise all three state distribution organisations – the Jaipur Vidyut Vitharan Nigam Limited (JVVNL), Ajmer Vidyut Vitharan Nigam Limited (AVVNL) and Jodhpur Vidyut Vitharan Nigam Limited (JDVVNL).
In the wake of these moves, the government has floated tenders for consulting firms. The government aims to complete the handing over of these 4 cities to private companies.
A memorandum was submitted to the Superintendent Engineer under the leadership of the District President of the JDVVNL Shramik Sangh, Shri Krishna Tayal.
Addressing the demonstrators, he pointed out that privatisation will go against the interests of the workers and consumers, and in favour of the bourgeoisie. The relief provided to the peasantry and other subsidies will no longer be available after this. He said that the aim of privatisation is to benefit large capitalists like Reliance, Adani, Toronto Bajaj, etc. He warned the government that the protests would intensify if the demands of the workers went unheeded. They would demonstrate in front of the Vidhan Sabha on 25th July, he said.
Various people who expressed their views at the dharana included JDVVNL Shramik Sangh Mahamantri Amarsingh, Divisional Mantri Rajendra Sikar, Subhash Rawatsar, Somveer Dudi, Vinod, Anilkumar, Shiv Bhagwan, Chetaram, Vedpal, Amar Singh, Vinod Agrawal, Navdeepsingh, Sanjay Jhakar and others.
Lok Raj Sangathan has expressed its support of the stand taken by the Electricity Boards’ workers and written a letter to the Chief Minister demanding an early redressal of their demands.