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J'khand plunges into darkness after JSEB union goes on strike Last Updated : 07 Dec 2012 07:36:58 AM IST File photo: Chief Minister Arjun Munda
A large part of Jharkhand remained without electricity for over 24 hours after the state electricity board (JSEB) union went on a flash strike, which Chief Minister Arjun Munda on Thursday said was called without giving a notice to the government.
Six districts of the Santhal Pargana region, East and West Singhbhum and Ranchi districts were severely affected by the strike, official sources said.
While train services on Howrah-Mumbai route was disrupted as irate locals blocked trains at Jugsala at Jamshedpur in protest against the black out, the Jharkhand High Court served notices to the state government and the striking employees following disruption of power supply.
After the JSEB signed MoUs yesterday with Tata Power and CESC for power distribution in Jamshedpur and Ranchi respectively, the union had gone on strike.
The flash strike resulted in the government evoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) last night but none reported for duty, union leaders said.
In the state Assembly, Chief Minister Arjun Munda said the union did not serve notice. "They should have talked (to the government) before going on strike."
Prasant Chaturvedi, Convenor of the Coordination Committee of the JSEB Employees Union, said the government proposed a conditional dialogue which the union rejected.
"The government offered talks with us on the condition that we call off our strike before sitting for a dialogue. We have rejected the conditional offer," Chaturvedi said.
"We will talk on the condition that Chief Secretary S K Choudhary is present...Our strike continues, and we are not afraid of ESMA," he said.
"We requested NTPC for alternative arrangements in the wake of power supply disruption following the strike. But they refused stating shortage of staff," Deputy General Manager D Jha of JSEB Dumka unit said.
Meanwhile, irate local residents set tyres on fire near Jugsala railway crossing here demanding immediate restoration of electricity supply.
While Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express was detained at Adityapur, Durg-Danapur Express was stranded at Tatanagar, railway sources said.
Meanwhile, the Jharkhand High Court served notices to the state government and the striking employees taking suo motu cognisance based on media reports of the strike.
A division bench of Chief Justice P C Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy issued notices to Chief Secretary S K Choudhary, JSEB Chairman S N Verma and to the representatives of the striking employees. The bench summoned them to appear before it tomorrow for hearing in the case.
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