COVID vaccine for LPG, petrol bunk staff soon

Thousands of employees at cooking gas agencies, petrol bunks, oil depots and terminals as well as LPG bottling plants of public sector oil marketing companies, namely IOC, BPCL and HPCL, across Telangana are likely to get priority in vaccination against COVID-19.

It looks imminent with Civil Supplies Department on Wednesday asking all District Collectors to issue instructions for conduct of special vaccination camps treating them as frontline warriors.

The advisory from Commissioner of Civil Supplies V. Anil Kumar followed representation from the office of the State Level Coordinator of Oil Industry seeking special measures to vaccinate the workforce. The oil companies transport and distribute petroleum products through a network of terminals, depots, retail outlets and LPG distributors and maintained uninterrupted supplies of “these essential services” ever since the pandemic. The personnel engaged in these operations need vaccination against COVID-19 and for that special camps/drives are to be organised, he said citing the letter.

The associations of LPG distributors and petrol bunk dealers had also been pushing for the vaccination. Telangana Petroleum Dealers’ Association president M. Amarender Reddy had recently appealed to Food and Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar to accord priority to petrol pump staff in vaccination. Such a measure will boost their morale and help contain the risk of propagation, he said.

Telangana LPG Distributor’s Association General Secretary K. Jagan Mohan Reddy estimated the number of those engaged in delivery, manning counters at LPG agencies, drivers of vehicles, involved in loading and unloading refills as well as workers at bottling plants to be 14,500. With around 10% of them likely to have been vaccinated, in the immunisation programme for those above 45 years, the rest would require the jab.

The LPG distributors’ body is also considering seeking permission to reduce working hours of the agencies. Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the distributorships receive about 15-20 customers daily with requests for double bottle (second cylinder), issue of new as well as transfer of existing connections, all of which can be completed over phone or on digital channels. The plan is to seek permission to reduce the business hours to 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from the present 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. while bolstering the back office to handle the requests.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:28:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covid-vaccine-for-lpg-petrol-bunk-staff-soon/article34493370.ece

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