The construction works on the Lower Modikhola Hydroelectricity Project have remained stalled for 11 days due to the strike by project workers and employees.
Workers and employees have padlocked the project office located at Kushma municipality-8 and halted works since June 3, putting forth demands including giving the employees and labourers permanent status. Construction of the powerhouse, head works and tunnel is also stalled since the last 10 days due to the strike.
The 20-Megawatts-capacity project is in the final stages of trial production. The project had made preparations to start the trial production in the third week of this month. Modi Energy Limited, a private sector energy developer, is constructing the project.
Among other demands put forth by the workers and employees include making provisions for providing permanent jobs to the locals from the project affected area, and the workers and employees who have been newly recruited for construction of the powerhouse and other structures should not be given permanent job.
Forty employees at the project have halted works. “New employees have been recruited from outside without the knowledge of the employees who have been working for the project from the very beginning,” Ek Narayan Giri, an employee, said.
He added that they were compelled to resort to padlocking the project office as their demand for giving them permanent job has been neglected time and again. Employees had also padlocked the project and stopped work from May 22 to 26 before this. They resumed works and removed the padlock after the project management agreed to address their demand after June 3.
They had also picketed the District Administration Office on Tuesday and Wednesday seeking the administration’s intervention to get their demands fulfilled.However, the project management has stated that no employee has been given permanent status and it has plan to give permanent status to some of the employees only after fulfilling the required process after the project starts its production.
Project chief Pawan Kumar Yadav said some skilled employees have been appointed as assistants in course of preparations for trial production only and they have not been given permanent status.