- Army called in to restore essential services hit by ongoing strike of power department personnel
- Union Minister says talks are on with protesting employees
- Employees are protesting against proposed privatisation
The government has called in Army to restore essential services hit by the ongoing strike of electricity department personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said Sunday. They said the deployment was made following a request by the administration.
In a communication addressed to the army, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Raghav Langer said that due to the strike by electricity department personnel, essential services have been severely affected in the Jammu region.
"We would like to hereby requisition the Indian army to assist in the restoration of the essential services by provisioning manpower to main critical electricity stations and water supply sources," Langer said.
Speaking on the matter, Union Power Minister RK Singh said, "There is a minor impact at a few places, by and large, things are normal. In Jammu, only 15-20 per cent of feeders are affected. There is no situation of blackout. Talks are on with employees union to know their demands & grievances."
Meanwhile, the army acted swiftly and deployed its troops at main critical electricity stations and water supply sources to restore supply, the officials said. Several areas of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed electricity outages as linemen to senior engineers begin their indefinite strike on Saturday against the government's privatisation move and failure of two-round talks. During the night-hours, there was a blackout in nearly 50 per cent of areas across J&K.
Reacting to the prevailing condition of power outage in the UT, National Conference leader and former CM of the erstwhile state, Omar Abdullah, said that the Jammu and Kashmir administration is causing inconvenience to the locals.
“The army has been called to operate the power infrastructure in Jammu division of J&K. There no bigger admission of failure for a civilian administration than to call upon the army, it means a total breakdown of governance has been accepted by the J&K government,” he tweeted.