Here is an example of the indecision. The department had planned to purchase 72 transformers. The number was reduced to 35 earlier this year. So far, not even a single transformer has been purchased. That is not all.
“If we need to take a cable, a wire or even a small screw and other device for repair work, there nothing is available in the store. The financial process of procurement had remained slow earlier too, but the situation has turned from bad to worse now. Basic things required for maintenance are not available,” sources said.
Another area of concern is manpower. Sources confirmed that main employees who work in the field like lineman are a few and people are not being hired against the vacant posts. “It is creating a major problem, mainly in redressing complaints of power cuts of people in this hot and humid weather,” sources said.
Sources in the electricity department said financial estimates that divisional and sub-divisional level offices had prepared to purchase the necessary items were being ignored at the higher level. The senior officers have been either sent back all such financial estimates or kept them away in presumption that the department is going to be privatised soon.
Gopal Dutt Joshi, general secretary, UT Powermen Union, said, “There are 1,780 sanctioned posts in the department, but only 900 employees are working. Besides, out of these, around 250 to 300 employees have been outsourced. Renewal if their contract is still a major issue. There is scarcity of vehicles and material in the department, but nobody is bothered.”