Bescom begins process to fill linemen posts

Bescom begins process to fill linemen posts

Bescom begins process to fill linemen posts

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has said it has already begun the process to fill the long-pending vacancies of linemen by appointing 3,800 linemen and assistant linemen.

However, the power sector  employees’ union says Bescom requires at least 5,000 linemen to address the increasing number of complaints. Redressing complaints related to faulty lines and power cuts at Bescom might speed up now, with the appointment of linemen and assistant linemen all set to begin shortly after a gap of three to four years. The last date to receive applications from eligible candidates was April 15, 2014.

“The reason for the delay in recruitment is that, we were drawn into a long legal battle as some of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) students approached the court, seeking reservation for them.

Then, we had this Hyderabad-Karnataka reservation issue. Since there are no more hurdles, we have decided to go ahead with the recruitment," informed Bescom Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey.

He said that Bescom had called for applications and had set certain eligibility criteria.
There will be a physical fitness test and the candidates have to pass this test to get selected. However, the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) employees’ union said there are 27,029 vacancies in all the electricity supply companies (escoms) and KPTCL, of which 50 per cent is those of linemen.

“These are ground staff who attend to public compliants. No attempt is made to recruit them, despite Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission's (KERC) directions one and-a-half years ago,” KPTCL Employees’ Union president M Nagaraja said. He said Bescom, with over 80 lakh consumers, requires at least 5,000 linemen.

Crucial posts

Pointing out that every year 1,500 to 1,800 employees retire from power sector, he said recruitment has become stagnant over the years.

“Linemen are important for the sector. Computerisation cannot replace them  because they work on field, address complaints and ensure restoration of power during blackouts. Considering the total number of consumers and the increasing number of complaints, we need at least 10 linemen for every 1,000 consumers,” Nagaraja said.

However, Pandey said, with 87 lakh consumers, Bescom’s consumption is growing at nine per cent per annum.

“The National Productivity Council is entrusted with the task to study and report about the linemen-consumer ratio. We will recruit accordingly.  But it is not exactly 10:1,000, as claimed. It varies between the urban and rural areas and the geographical areas,” he said.

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