A strike planned by electrical contractors in Bengaluru which threatened to plunge several areas in the city into darkness on Wednesday was averted after a meeting between the Electrical Contractors Association and the BBMP saw the two parties reach a compromise.
Electrical contractors switch on street lights in the city and also tend to complaints by residents and carry out repairs.
Street lights in several areas of the city including stretches of Residency Road, Corporation Circle, Lower Agaram Road were switched off on Wednesday until talks with the BBMP over payment of Rs.35 crore as payment to the contractors. While the talks were inconclusive, switchmen agreed to postpone their strike and switched on streetlights in all 198 wards in the city.
Earlier in the day, the contractors held a protest in front of the BBMP office demanding pending payments worth Rs. 35 crore for the past one year. The contractors later held talks with BBMP officials in which they agreed to switch on street lights in the city but refused to carry out repairs or tend to complaints until the payment is made.
An official at the BBMP revealed that the BBMP offered to pay half of the amount now and promised to pay the rest by Friday after discussing the issue in the BBMP council meeting. However, the BBMP's offer was rejected by the contractors.
‚ÄúThere are some problems, yes. These tasks are contracted out to private entities and there are problems with the contract. We held talks with them and the issue will be taken up by the council on 22nd, ‚ÄĚ BBMP Commissioner Maheshwar Rao said.