KSEB employees say vaccination delay may hit service

There is considerable anxiety among employees of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) that any further delay in vaccinating the board’s field staff can lead to possible disruption in services, affecting the efforts of the government to contain the pandemic.

While electricity supply has been declared an essential service by the State government, field workers, numbering around 25,000, ensuring uninterrupted power supply and attending to calls from customers are not getting vaccination on a priority basis, said Sibikutty Francis, working president of the Kerala Electricity Employees’ Confederation, INTUC, on Thursday.

He said that four KSEB field staff members had already succumbed to COVID-19 so far and that field staff members should have been considered for priority vaccination after the drive was launched in the State along with health workers and police personnel.

Chairman of the electricity board N.S. Pillai said that the board had written to the Health Department to consider priority vaccination of board workers. He said that the Central power ministry had also recommended priority vaccination for the sector. The issue has been taken up with the Kerala government. Though availability is a problem now, the board is expecting the government to provide vaccination as soon the supplies are available. He said that around 25,000 doses of vaccine could take care of the KSEB’s immediate requirement.

L.R. Sreekumar of the KSEB Workers’ Association, CITU, said that the president of the association, Elamaram Kareem, MP, had appealed to the Health Minister directly for providing vaccination to electricity workers on a priority basis.

Mr. Francis also said that the work schedule of employees could be streamlined to ensure that even if there are cases of infection, the regular maintenance and repair works would not be affected. The suggestion was that 50% man the field on a rotational basis and dividing the staff into small groups to ensure that there is no mass spread.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 2:48:37 AM |

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