Staff Reductions at KSEB Ignite Controversy; Trade Unions Threaten Protests

A recent decision to cut 5,615 positions within the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) Engineering Department has sparked significant controversy.

The publication of a list by the Chief Engineer of KSEB’s HR Management Division has met with strong opposition from staff unions. This list emerged amidst ongoing discussions between authorities and trade unions regarding restructuring at the departmental level. The KSRTC Workers Association, led by CITU, has warned of potential protests if these restructuring plans are implemented unilaterally.

In 2009, the Regulatory Commission directed KSEB to reduce its workforce to 30,321 from the previously sanctioned 35,936. However, due to unfilled vacancies in subsequent years, the workforce has already decreased to 27,700. According to the Commission’s directive, a total of 1,098 linemen, 468 overseers, and 1,893 electricity workers are to be eliminated. Concerns have been raised about the potential negative impact on public services as a result of these cuts.

Additionally, KSEB chairman Rajan Khobragade has requested the government to extend the terms of three retired chief engineers in the Civil Department, citing a shortage of qualified candidates for these positions. This move has faced strong opposition from the trade unions.

Keywords: KSEB, Kerala State Electricity Board, staff reductions, Engineering Department, controversy, trade unions, protests, KSRTC Workers Association, CITU, restructuring, Regulatory Commission, workforce, public services, Rajan Khobragade, chief engineers, Civil Department.

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