Reported by Chinmay Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Dec 25:
The Odisha government has extended the promulgation of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) by another six months prohibiting strikes in power institutions and power utilities, official sources said today.
The Energy Department has asked the Home Department to extend the ESMA Act for another six months keeping in view public interest. Uninterrupted supply of power is basic pre-requisite for the public, institutions, industries as well as all other enterprises that are completely dependent on power supply for normal functioning, the department said.
Energy Department has extended the ban on strikes by employees in the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL), GRIDCO and four power distribution companies by six more months.
“Electricity is an essential commodity for the entire state both in private and public sectors and its un-interrupted supply is highly necessary for maintaining normal life of the general public. In case of any constraint or disturbance in generation, the state distribution utilities would have no option but to import power from other states at high cost,” said a letter from the Energy department to the Home department.
The letter further said, all the generation and distribution utilities in the state are facing industrial unrest frequently following strikes or threats of strikes by labour unions in support of their charter of demands.
“Arbitrary illegal and unreasonable strikes or cessation of work by the unions would not only adversely affect the power supply but also the public life as well as state ex-chequer,” the department said justifying extension of ESMA.