Showing posts with label WBSEDCL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WBSEDCL. Show all posts

Janmukti Bidyut Silpa Sahayak Calls for Indefinite Strike - Refuse to Collect Spot Billing From Today

11:29 AM
The JBSS has called for indefinite strike of all spot billing agents from today, following the non-cooperation of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Corporation Limited.

The members of JBSS have been working in their posts since 2000 when the WBSEDC was not yet formed and all of them were working for West Bengal State Electricity Board. All of the workers were recruited on temporary basis with the promise of giving priority once new posts opened up. However, none of the temporary workers have been made permanent even after 16 years of service.
In 2014 the WBSEDC outsourced their duties to private companies, which has caused an acute sense of job insecurities among the workers, who are the primary face of the company dealing with customers. These workers have to take up multiple roles including Spot Meter Reading, managing blue books and handling all the back-office chores.

“Time and again the WBSEDC have promised us that they will find a permanent solution to our members, however till date they have renegade on all their promises and assurances… we do not have job security and we are working for pittance… we cannot allow this to continue” stated a JBSS executive
Especially in the hill region, these workers have to travel long distances in harsh geographical and physical conditions and adverse weather, yet they are not provided with any basic facilities, and now they are put under Private Companies without any consultation with the workers.

The workers have three prong demand, i) Job security under WBSEDC and not private companies, ii) Provisions of EPF, TA, DA and other government sanctioned allowances and regular salaries and iii) Appointment to WBSED against posts that are lying vacant for past many years.

JBSS executive have stated that, “we are the primary source of revenue collection for the company and are doing work way beyond our mandated requirements, yet WBSEDC has treated our members with utter disdain, now time has come for us to demand our rights and we won’t budge till the Chief Managing Director gives us in writing indicating that all the promises made to us will be fulfilled within a specific time-frame.”

Via TheDC

GTA threatened WBSEDCL Office Shut Down

8:11 AM
Despite the fact that sharing of revenue from electricity projects that have been developed in the GTA region between the GTA and Bengal government is expressly mentioned in the GTA agreement, the Bengal government and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has failed to implement the same.
Pics show destruction of our river and environment due to the dams
Pics show destruction of our river and environment due to the dams
As a result the GTA has threatened that if the Bengal government and the WBSEDCL do not adhere to the GTA Agreement, and start sharing revenue with it by February 15, 2015 all the WBSEDCL offices across the GTA region will be shut down.

Moreover the GTA has said that the WBEDCL has been overcharging the hill consumers and added that the dues accumulated during the statehood agitation period were being tagged in recent bills by the WBSEDCL.

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive Bimal Gurung yesterday held a meeting with WBSEDC officials in Darjeeling to discuss the issue. He did not speak to the media, but GJM general secretary and GTA sabhasad Roshan Giri said after the meeting, “We have asked the WBSEDCL to resolve the issue within February 15 failing which we will close its offices across the GTA region for an indefinite period from February 16.”

He alleged, “Consumers are being charged excess amounts by way of a newly-introduced spot billing system. This is causing undue harassment to the people as they are in no position to pay such exorbitant amounts. This is only a ploy to make the people of the hills pay the pending amounts accumulated during the agitation for statehood.”

Giri also said the state government has failed to implement the sharing of electricity clause included in the GTA agreement. “The GTA agreement has a clause that says ‘a mutually agreed formula’ would be adopted for sharing of electricity and revenue between the state government and the autonomous body. But even after more than two years the state government has failed to uphold the agreement,” he said.

Nearly 400 MW of electricity is generated in the GTA area by various hydel projects of the NHPC and NTPC and the GJM wants a 12 per cent share of the revenue.

Further, the GJM general secretary said his party had already raised the issue of waiving-off the dues of the agitation period with the chief minister in various meetings held over the years. “We placed the matter before the chief minister during the January 22 meeting in Darjeeling. She had asked the home secretary to call a separate meeting with the GTA, but this has not taken place as yet. Besides, we have also raised the issue of waiving off the agitation period bills in the bipartite and tripartite meetings held with the state and central governments,” asserted Giri.

Complying with a GJM diktat, the people have not paid their telephone and electricity bills and other taxes for the period April 2008 to August 2011 as part of the non-cooperation movement against the state government. However, after signing the GTA agreement in July 2011, the GJM had asked the people to start paying their bills and taxes from August 2011 onwards but not the dues accumulated during the agitation period.

Meanwhile, WBSEDCL officials refuted the allegation that dues from the agitation period were being added to recent bills. “This is completely untrue. Current bills have not been inflated and consumers are being charged as per usage. We have also not included the dues from the agitation period. In fact, spot billing has been introduced to provide better service and not cause inconvenience to consumers,” maintained Sibesh Deb, regional manager WBSEDCL (Darjeeling Region). He added dues have climbed up to Rs80 crore till date. When asked about the GJM’s threat to close down the company’s offices, Deb said, “I cannot comment on this. But we will definitely place the issue with higher authorities.”

TheDC team supports this move by the GTA ... as the revenue earned from the hydro development in the hills, are never invested back here... both the electricity and the revenues are taken down to developed south Bengal, while Darjeeling and Dooars continue to suffer due to this utter neglect.

Instead of 12% GTA should seek at least 50% share in the revenue, as the land is ours, we have to bear the burden of hosting a hydro dam, its our rivers that get clogged and our villages that get flooded...

While Bengal earns revenue through the electricity and also enjoys the electricity, our people do not get anything in return.

Source: The Darjeeling Chronicle

WBSEDCL would not disconnect connections in the hills after meeting GTA chief

10:12 AM
The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) today said it would not disconnect connections of commercial establishments in the hills for now following a meeting with GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung in Darjeeling.

Gurung at the meeting with WBSEDCL officials and hotel owners at
Lal Khoti on Monday. (Suman Tamang)
The state power distribution utility, however, made it clear that dues accumulated over the three years between April 2008 and July 2011 would not be waived.

Consumers in the hills, both domestic and commercial, had not paid their electricity bills for 39 months heeding the call of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which had launched a non-cooperation movement against the state between 2008 and 2011, demanding Gorkhaland.

People were also asked not to pay telephone bills and sales tax.

Electricity dues of Rs 72 crore, Rs 20 crore in telephone dues and Rs 10 crore for sales tax piled up because of non-payment.

“We have decided not to cut the power connections. The modalities of realising the dues will be worked out. We will send a proposal (regarding realising the dues) to our board of directors and after getting its approval we will start recovering the dues,” said A.K. Sinha, WBSEDCL zonal manager, over the phone from Darjeeling.

In January, WBSEDCL had served notices to hotels and other commercial establishments, asking them to clear the dues by January 29 or have their supply would be disconnected. Power supply to few hotels in Kalimpong were snapped on Friday morning but restored later in the evening.

“We had met the GTA chief executive on Saturday to seek his intervention. Today’s meeting was fruitful as the WBSEDCL has decided not to disconnect supply. We want a complete waiver of the dues accumulated during the agitation period,” said Sanjogita Subba, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association of Kalimpong (Horak), who attended today’s meeting.

Sinha, however, said: “There is no question of a waiver.”

He said issues like late payment surcharge might be discussed later.

GTA sources said the hill body could write to the state government and to seek a waiver for hotels and other tourism-related businesses. “The hoteliers have sought relief,” said the source.

Source: Telegraph

Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan (KBS) threatens to drag WBSEDCL to court

9:18 AM
Opposing WBSEDCL notices to commercial institutions here for paying power bills incurred during the statehood agitation period, the Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan (KBS) has called a four-hour bandh of business establishments on Wednesday. The KBS has also threatened that if need be, it will knock on the doors of the high court and seek justice.

Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan secretary Rajendra Prasad Agarwal.
Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan secretary
Rajendra Prasad Agarwal.
KBS members on Monday held a meeting at the Gorkha Jan Pustakalay where they discussed the difficulty they are facing due to the WBSEDCL notices. The KBS has decided to dispatch deputations to the WBSEDCL, SDO and police administration on Wednesday and keep business establishments closed for four hours from 10 am to 2 pm so that all members get to participate in the agitation. KBS secretary Rajendra Prasad Agarwal said: “We condemn the action taken by the WBSEDCL wherein it has asked us to pay the electricity dues accumulated during the statehood agitation.” 

Agarwal further said that during the agitation period, many consumers had wanted to pay their bills, but it was the WBSEDCL that declined to accept payments. The office section used to remain open, but billing counters remained shut and this continued for more than three years, claimed the KBS secretary. “Now suddenly, the WBSEDCL realises it must send us the bills, but we will not oblige. What was the department doing all these years when bills were accumulating?” Agarwal wondered.


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