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ASEB engineers body resents �whimsical� appointment of MDs

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 29 - The Association of Engineers (AOE), ASEB, has resented the �whimsical way� of appointing the Managing Directors of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL), Assam Power Grid Corporation Ltd (APGCL) and the Assam Electricity Generation Corporation Ltd (AEGCL).

The AOE general body has resented that this practice has affected the functioning of the three public sector power utilities of the State, specially the APDCL, which is in limbo, as its leadership has failed to provide any direction to the company in reducing its mounting losses, said the AOE general body in a recent meeting.

The APDCL has incurred a cumulative loss of over Rs 3,000 crore since reforms had been introduced in the power sector in mid-2005 by splitting the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB). The cumulative loss incurred by the AEGCL since then is around Rs 500 crore and the loss incurred by the APGCL is around Rs 200 crore.

The situation has come to such a pass that the State Government appointed four persons as Managing Director of the APDCL in a span of two and half months leading to �managerial paralysis� in the Company, said the AOE.

The Association reiterated its longstanding demand that the Managing Directors of APDCL, APGCL and AEGCL should be technically qualified power sector professionals and they should be selected and appointed as per guidelines of the Tripartite Agreement signed in 2004 by the AOE, State Government and the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) Management.

The Association also demanded that even the Power Commissioner and Secretary of the State Power Department should be from the Engineering Service Cadre, as this norm is followed in the other government engineering departments like the Public Works Department (PWD), Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department, etc.

Only such an arrangement can lead to practical and effective policy-making at the government level for development of the power sector, the Association opined.

The 32nd general body meeting of the Association, held at the Panbazar Institution of Engineers here, also requested the State Government and the ASEB Management to immediately fill up the important vacant post of Director (Technical) of the APDCL. The absence of Director (Technical) is being particularly felt as there is no technical member at present in the APDCL Board of Directors, which takes vital decisions involving huge expenditure in power distribution and rural electrification projects.

More than 300 engineers attended the meeting. In one of its major resolutions, the Association flayed the proposed move of the ASEB Management to deprive the seniormost General Managers and Deputy General Managers from taking charge as Chief General Managers and General Managers respectively after promotion to that rank, because they do not have more than six months of service left till retirement.

The Association warned that it will be a violation of the Engineering Service Regulations, 1973 of ASEB and also a violation of the Tripartite Agreement.

The Association also opposed the move of the APDCL to make heavy investment for replacement of working electronic static meters with conventional prepaid meters on wholesale basis in Jorhat and Badarpur describing it as an unjustified one.

The Association felt that the need of the hour is a social cost benefit analysis of the APDCL works through an independent agency so that the true picture of the services rendered by the company to society can be accurately assessed.

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