- SNDL Vendors on strike from midnight of January 21, 2015.
- SNDL fails to pay nearly 16 Crores outstanding bills from 2011.
- Nearly 4.5 lakh power consumers to be affected
The Operation and Maintenance Vendors of Spanco Nagpur Discom Ltd. (SNDL) have decided that enough is enough and are going to discontinue the work of all the activities from the midnight of January 21, 2014.
While addressing the press conference organized in a city hotel on January 21, 2015, Roshan Thakur, Sunil Vatsa, Mahindra Jichkar and V R Motghare claimed that the Vendors had appraised about the long pending bills amounting to nearly 16 crores which are said to be due from 2011, to the Energy Minister on January 19, 2015. However, the Vendors alleged that the Minister gave very vague assurances about resolving issues and did not want to speak about the dues owed by Spanco, when SNDL took over. Some vendors also alleged that the local officials had disowned the responsibility of the old dues of Spanco.
According to the vendors, when SNDL took over from Spanco, SNDL Business Head Sonal Khurana had assured the vendors that they will receive their long pending dues by March 2014. 50% of the due amount was allegedly released for making payments too, but never reached the vendors.
SNDL had called meeting of all the vendors on January 20, 2015 to resolve these issues. 29 vendors who are said to be carrying out Operation and Maintenance works were present.
The total amount of dues amount to around 16 Crores: No amicable solution reached so far
SNDL Business Head Sonal Khurana had sought 24 hours-time to resolve all the issues of vendors. All the vendors did meet the SNDL authorities on January 21, 2015 at 2.00 pm. They had also postponed the strike in order to have mutually beneficial talks. However, when the authorities of SNDL did not give any favourable replies and were again trying to con the vendors into accepting a meager amount against huge dues, a decision to go on Strike was taken immediately after the meeting.
The Vendors allege:
- 1. The SNDL authorities are trying to break the unity of vendors with an intention to “divide and rule”.
- 2. The SNDL are calling the vendors one by one to Mumbai and have allegedly asked them to take a meager percentage of the whole amount due and to forget the rest. One vendor whom SNDL owed Rs 35, 00,000/- was offered an amount of Rs 5, 00,000/-. He was asked to sign a NoC and give immediately. The officials at Mumbai are allegedly pressurizing the poor vendors to forgo their earlier dues.
- 3. The Nodal authorities, SNDL Business Head Sonal Khurana, CEO and others are allegedly keeping even the Minister in the dark and have allegedly told him a lie that they are in the process of paying the dues, while the reality is that out of 6 lakhs, they are issuing a cheque of Rs 1 lakh.
- The vendors also alleged that the SNDL authorities have claimed that all those vendors who will stop their work will be paid soon. However, those vendors who have been conned into doing so relate their tales of woe.
Vendors desire MAHAVITARAN to cancel their contract and take over.
The vendors who were present at the press meet claimed that there is a clause of ‘Critical Event’ in the pact or contract with SNDL and MAHAVITARAN. Under this clause, if the MAHAVITARAN feels that the consumers are suffering, they can cancel the contract and take over. The vendors feel that MAHAVITARAN should take over, just as it did in Aurangabad and Jalna, where too SNDL failed to make payments to the vendors.
The Vendors have appealed SNDL to resolve the issue, so that the public services are provided without any interruptions.
‘Do or Die’
The Vendors claimed that they have heard enough of assurances and till the time SNDL clears all old pending dues, all the vendors and their personnel who are nearly 700 in number will stop working. They have also warned that any situation arising due to the discontinuation of the work, SNDL will solely be responsible.
SNDL’s stubborn action will lead to starvation of nearly 700 workers of O&M Vendors. To add to this they have warned the SNDL authorities that they will not let any other private vendors to work on their O&M too, till they are paid their dues. Sources among the vendors claimed that SNDL is planning to employ their commercial staff to work on the O&M work.
The vendors claimed in case of any emergency, they will definitely work for the consumers but not for SNDL. They claimed that during the last strike which the vendors had gone on in April 12, 2014, too they had worked whole night and had ensured that the consumers do not suffer. They also ensured that the Dr Ambedkar Jayanthi programmes held on April 14, 2014 goes smoothly with any hitch, though they were on strike.