SC-appointed panel asks Telangana to absorb 584 power sector employees stuck in limbo

The long-standing issue relates to 1,157 employees from different power utility companies, who were previously relieved by the Telangana government, after the state's bifurcation in 2014.
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The DM Dharmadhikari Committee, tasked with the allocation of power sector employees between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after the state's bifurcation, submitted its concluded report on the issue. 

Resolving one of the most contentious issues of the split, surrounding the fate of 584 employees who were stuck in limbo, the committee said that these employees will have to be absorbed by the Telangana power utility companies. 

According to reports, all employees who were yet to be included in an allocation list and were still working based on temporary orders would continue to work in the same company. The names of those who attain 58 years of age in 2020 would be kept out of the allocation list.

The final report also made observations and asked the Andhra Pradesh government to re-examine their policy when it came to applications of spouses and those with medical requirements, to ensure that they were accommodated in the state of their choice. 

The Committee also said that employees belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs) must be accommodated in a way that their future service growth is not affected.

With this, the state governments will now need to absorb employees as per the orders and will be responsible for their salaries, arrears, pending payments etc. Stating that the allocation was binding on the employers and employees of the two states, the committee said that violations in the implementation of the order could directly be reported to the Supreme Court. 

The long-standing issue relates to 1,157 employees from different power utility companies, who were previously relieved by the Telangana government, after bifurcation of the state in 2014, on the basis of their place of birth and other factors. 

The employees who were allocated to Andhra Pradesh said that it was unfair to have relieved them based on their origin, while staff in Telangana said it will ensure employment opportunities to the natives of the state.

After multiple sides moved the Supreme Court, the one-man Justice DM Dharmadhikari committee was appointed, which submitted its report in December 2019. 

The report suggested that 655 of the 1,157 relieved employees in Telangana be allocated to Andhra Pradesh, following which they were relieved by the Telangana government in January 2020.

Countering this, Andhra Pradesh filed a review plea, claiming that it cannot absorb such a huge number of employees following which, a supplementary report by the committee, which came out in March this year, stated that the exact same number (655) of employees be relieved from Andhra and sent to Telangana.

Of these 655 employees, 71 had been identified by the Dharmadhikari committee based on personal grounds like medical reasons, the residence of spouse etc., because of which they wished to move from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana.

The remaining 584 employees were stuck in limbo with both state governments unwilling to absorb them.

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