Power supply hit in Maharashtra, govt invokes MESMA amid 72-hour strike

  • The government invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act as employees of three state-owned power companies in Maharashtra began a 72 hour strike from Wednesday. In spite of this, lengthy power outages have been reported from several areas including Pune, Nagpur and Amravati in the last 12 hours.

Edited By Anwesha Mitra
Updated4 Jan 2023
The development came even as the Eknath Shinde-led administration invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) and called for normal power supply to be ensured across the state.
The development came even as the Eknath Shinde-led administration invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) and called for normal power supply to be ensured across the state. (HT_PRINT)

Employees of three state-owned power companies in Maharashtra began a 72 hour strike on Wednesday to protest against privatisation. The development came even as the Eknath Shinde-led administration invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) and called for normal power supply to be ensured across the state.

The state-owned power companies include The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd (Mahavitaran), Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co Ltd (Mahapareshan) and Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Co Ltd (Mahanirmiti). 

Here are the latest developments: 

- The strike began at midnight on December 4 with thousands of employees sitting in makeshift pandals outside their establishments. The strike is set to continue till December 6, with the unions previously urging consumers to make back-up arrangements and store adequate water in tanks.

- Ahead of the agitation, the state government had invoked MESMA on Tuesday night and asked all concerned officials to ensure normal electricity supply.

- In spite of this, power outages have been reported from several parts of the state including Pune, Nagpur and Amravati in the last 12 hours. Social media posts indicate that many in the state have been left without electricity since the agitation began in the early hours of Wednesday.

- The protests have been peaceful thus far. As per an earlier update from Krushna Bhoir, general secretary of the Maharashtra State Electricity Workers' Federation, the state government had called them for a meeting. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was slated to meet members of the action committee of the employee unions at the Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai at around 1 pm.

- The agitation had begun last month with the Maharashtra Rajya Karmachari, Adhikari and Abhiyanta Sangharsh Samiti - an action committee of 31 unions of power companies - putting forth several demands.

- Their primary demand pertains to the issue of a 'parallel distribution license' to the Adani Group's power subsidiary. The latter had sought a licence for expanding its power distribution business into more areas of Mumbai in November last year - a move opposed by the protesting power company employees. Adani Electricity Navi Mumbai Ltd, a subsidiary of Adani Transmission, had applied to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for a parallel licence for power distribution under the jurisdiction of Mahavitaran in Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Taloja and Uran areas.

Those facing power cuts can reach out to the relevant authorities via the toll-free helpline numbers issued by the MSEDCL: 1800-212-3435/1800-233-3435/1912/19120

(With inputs from agencies)

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