Madurai

It’s back to work for plumbers and electricians in the city

They go about their business wearing face masks and gloves

With relaxation of norms in the lockdown since May 3, electricians and plumbers say that many people have started seeking their service.

Adhering to new norms like wearing face masks, gloves and regularly washing hands has become a part of their routine.

K. Thiraviyam, a plumber-cum-electrician who operates at Anna Nagar and K. K. Nagar, says he was able to work during the first two weeks of the lockdown. “I could do some work as I had stock of some essential materials but once things like washers, nails, screws and wires got exhausted I could not buy them so that I had to stop work,” he said.

S. John Moses, who works as a plumber in S. S. Colony, said he had received many calls during the lockdown to set right leaks and blocks in drains. It was tough to go to far off places since he had to answer the police at various check posts.

Members of the Madurai Meenakshi Electricians and Plumbers Association suffered a lot during this period, says its secretary M. Palanisamy. The members met twice during the lockdown to discuss and devise a plan to petition the district administration regarding their need to resume work.

“We petitioned the administration on April 27 seeking nod to function after norms are relaxed. To our joy, we were permitted without any hassle,” he said.

Mr. Palanisamy says that all workers who are back to work have been wearing face masks. While some wear gloves, others prefer to wash their hands thoroughly. Very few members have tried to get e-passes from the district administration.

With the police relaxing norms and permitting movement of vehicles, it was not essential to get the passes, he added.

“Some members said they had exhausted all their savings. Many survived on rations and most of them do not know how to restart business without incurring more debt,” he says.

Even before the lockdown, many plumbers and electricians had to do two jobs to manage their household expenditure.

“Our meagre income is not enough to tide over these tough times. We want to eat healthy food and provide proper education to our children. I am optimistic that things will change,” he says.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 3:50:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/its-back-to-work-for-plumbers-and-electricians-in-the-city/article31595248.ece

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