Demand of creation of new Operation Circles & filling up vacancies, presently simmering among EPDCL staff

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A desperate demand for decentralisation of Operation Circles (OC) in Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) on par with decentralised districts, is simmering among the existing staff.

This apart, since the number of service connections (electricity consumers) is increasing every year, filling up about 30% of the vacancies is another key demand from them.

These demands are mostly coming from existing employees, who have been serving for the last 15 to 20 years without promotion. They felt that creating the new operation circles will give them a chance of promotion at least at the time of their retirement.

On March 2, 2024, APSEB Assistant Executive Engineers’ Association, Vijayawada Head Office, requested the Chairman & Managing Director of EPDCL to create new engineering posts in promotional cadres of the EPDCL as per work load norms.

“There has been no progress in the Association’s request as on date, and there has been no response too. I have been serving the company for the last 15 years without any promotion. Hundreds of people suffer now. A possible solution to my problem is to create a new operation circle on the lines of decentralised districts,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.

Another EPDCL employee said that due to the delay in creation of new operation circles, existing staff cannot attend emergency meetings or VVIP programmes in two or three districts simultaneously.

Giving an example, the employee said, “Erstwhile Visakhapatnam was divided into Anakapalli, Alluri Sitarama Raju and Visakhapatnam districts after YSR Congress government came to power. While the new districts have three Collectors each, EPDCL’s Visakhapatnam Operation Circle has only one Superintending Engineer post, and the officer alone will be responsible for all these districts. If new operation circles are created in each district, then there is no problem at all.”

On the other hand, VSRK Ganapathi, Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Electricity Employees Union, EPDCL, said that the creation of new operation circles is necessary, but at the same time, the company should have enough staff to provide uninterrupted services to its customers. The number of service connections (users) is increasing every year. At present the service connections of the discom in five operation circles (former districts – Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, East and West Godavari districts) cross nearly 72 lakhs, he added.

“Total sanctioned posts are 13,227. But, we have only 9,356 posts filled and 3,871 posts are to be filled. Therefore, creating new operation circles without filling the vacancies is of no use. Focus should also be on the ground level staff. There is no use of posts filled at higher level without increasing the number of posts in the ground level or filling up the vacancies,” Mr. Ganapathi told The Hindu on Sunday.



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