The Chandigarh UT Administration today terminated the services of 17 outsourced employees and suspended two junior engineers (JEs). This action was taken in response to the Chandigarh administration’s chiding by the Punjab and Haryana high court for conceding to the UT Powermen Union’s demands when it had already enforced the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act. The administration decided to take disciplinary action against the regular employees “involved in power disruption”, while those hired on a contract will be terminated.
As per a senior official, 17 contractual and 130 regular employees had been found to have played a role in the disruption of the power supply. Besides disciplinary action, they will also face legal proceedings under ESMA. Besides this, show-cause notices to 127 regular employees, including a Superintending Engineer have also been issued. The Administration issued a show-cause notice to the Superintending Engineer (Electricity) for lack of co-operation with the Army authorities in restoration of power supply after the strike by members of the UT Powermen Union.
Further, to find out the extent of damage caused to the electrical infrastructure and other details, a three-member committee has been constituted. When residents raised a hue and cry after many areas also did not get regular water supply, the UT Administration invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and banned strikes across the city for six months by employees of the Engineering Department (Electricity) and asked the protesting employees to join their duties, failing which strict action was to be initiated against them.
As the employees failed to join the duty, the Administration took the assistance of the Military Engineer Services (MES) for the distribution, transmission, operation and maintenance of the electricity supply in the city.