LAKHIMPUR: The contractual workers of Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHP), being constructed by NHPC Limited at Gerukamukh of Dhemaji district, will resort to stir in order to demand job regularization of 284 workers. This was announced by the Contract Basis Workers' Union (CBWU) of the SLHP through a press release.
In this connection, CBWU president Premeswar Saikia and Johny Pegu said, "Our organization will re-initiate stir against NHPC if the power generating corporation does not fix a date prior to June 12 to organize a bilateral meeting with us to discuss the contract basis workers' issue of job regularization."
CBWU of NHPC Limited was compelled to initiate a series agitation programmes against NHPC Limited from April 5 to April 25 to demand the job security of the contract basis workers working at the SLHP for 21 long years. The NHPC Limited has not regularized their jobs till date despite consecutive prayers and petitions, protest programmes and several series of talks held with the authority of the power generating corporation.
Amid such an agitational environment, NHPC Limited again invited the CBWU for talks, which was held on April 13 in presence of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (C) at Kendriya Shram Sodan, Guwahati. During the talk on that day, Monuj Kumar, Senior Manager (HR) and RC Das, DGM (HR) represented the NHPC Limited. CBWU took part in the talk by calling off their series of agitation. But the talk held on that day ended in smoke without any resolution regarding the job regularization of the contract basis workers due to no positive steps on the part of the NHPC Limited. At this, CBWU expressed vehement resentment against the power generating corporation and decided to resume their agitation from April 20 at Gerukamukh.
However, SK Roy, the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (C) took another initiative to continue the talk between NHPC Limited and CBWU once again at SLHP site on April 21and April 22. As per the initiative of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (C), the discussion between NHPC and CBWU once again was held at the Administrative Building of the office of the Executive Director, SLHP Gerukamukh on the designated days. But the two-day long talk also ended in smoke without any amicable decision.
However, as a response to the demand by the CBWU, during the discussion, the authority of NHPC promised to hold talks between the organization and chairman-cum-Managing Director of NHPC and the Director of the SLHP regarding the issue within a short span of time. As a result of it, the CBWU called off their agitation temporarily and declared that the organization would resume the agitation at any time if the authority of NHPC did not solve the issues of the contract basis workers of the SLHP through fruitful talk.
"But at present, it has been observed that Vipin Gupta, the Executive Director of SLHP, NHPC and General Manager, HR Nabin Jain have not showed any goodwill to hold talks with the CBWU. Moreover, Project Director Biswajit Basu, who comes to visit the project site very often, has betrayed us and taken an anti-Assamese stand. We have condemned his stand," the CBWU said through the press release.
Through the same press release, the president and the secretary said that the Union Power Minister and NHPC chairman-cum-Managing Director would come to visit the SLHP site on June 12.
"Our organization will be compelled to re-initiate agitation at any moment unless the authority fixes the date to hold talks with us prior to June 12. Only the authority of NHPC Limited will be responsible for this," the president and the secretary of CBWU declared through the same press release. The CBWU has reiterated its demand to regularize the jobs of 284 contract basis workers of the SLHP like the employees of the Kurishu Project in Bhutan and the Lugtuk Project of Manipur.