Representatives of the Andhra Pradesh power utilities met with the Supreme Court-appointed Dharmadhikari committee on Sunday to discuss the issue of division of power staff between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The one-man Justice DM Dharmadhikari committee had been appointed by the SC to resolve the allocation of power sector employees between the two states after the bifurcation.
The committee had announced its final decision in December 2019, directing the Andhra Pradesh power utilities to absorb 655 employees from Telangana. The Andhra power companies, however, refused to do so, challenging the committee’s decision in the Supreme Court. Refusing to intervene, the court in January asked the companies to go back to the committee, whose decision in the matter would be final.
According to reports, in Sunday’s meeting, the Andhra power utilities strongly argued that absorbing the 655 employees will create a huge financial burden on them. They further noted that the orders violated the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, as the Act states that the division must not impose any additional financial burden on the Andhra power utilities after the allocation of the employees.
The utilities also argued that the total number of employees must be divided as per the ratios previously agreed, while the allocation of 655 employees alters the ratio. Senior officials from the power sector, including Andhra Pradesh Energy Secretary N Srikant reportedly told the committee that the state power sector “had undergone many hardships, and the utilities were not in a position to take any further burden in the form of additional salaries and pensions.”
The 655 employees, who were earlier relieved by Telangana, have since been left in the lurch, with Andhra Pradesh companies refusing to absorb them. According to The Hindu, the relieved employees have appealed to the committee to ensure that their salaries are paid and relieving orders cancelled, and are only issued once their postings are done.
The committee is expected to announce its decision soon.