With rising Covid-19 deaths among staff, power engineers approach CM Uddhav Thackeray for priority in treatment, vaccination

As many as 230 employees and engineers working with three state-run power companies have died of Covid-19 in the last year. Over 2,500 employees belonging to MAHAGENCO, MAHATRANSCO and MAHADISCOM had been infected with the virus.

With a rising number of employees testing positive for Covid-19, the Subordinate Engineers Association – representing 12,000 engineers – have written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Energy Minister Nitin Raut demanding that those working in the power sector be treated as “frontline workers” inorder to enable them to get priority in Covid-19 treatment and vaccination.

As many as 230 employees and engineers working with three state-run power companies have died of Covid-19 in the last year. Over 2,500 employees belonging to MAHAGENCO, MAHATRANSCO and MAHADISCOM had been infected with the virus.

Kedar Relekar, president of the association, told The Indian Express, “Energy Minister Nitinji Raut and Minister of State for Energy Prajakt Tanpure have taken concrete steps to recognise power engineers and others employees as front line workers. However, the final decision has not been announced. In the current scenario, in the absence of such recognition, the power engineers and other staff have to face huge hurdles to get vaccinated and to get immediate treatment in the hospital. In fact, the power engineers who work to deliver light everywhere are facing a different kind of darkness due to the treatment they receive in society.”

Relekar added, “From March 2020, from the first day of the first lockdown till today, except for one or the other minor incident, the power supply in the entire state has been kept uninterrupted. Engineers and employees of all the three leading energy companies in the state — MAHAGENCO, MAHATRANSCO and MAHADISCOM — are taking endless effort to maintain 24×7 power supply for hospitals, oxygen companies, establishments, TV channels and water works, regardless of the pandemic. While doing this, many egineers and staff have been infected, some have even lost their dear ones, and some have succumbed. Unfortunately, this fact has not been reviewed or even mentioned in social media or in newspapers. Due to spread of misinformation by some elements, some of the power engineers and employees have faced the wrath of the general public, in some places even inhuman beatings have taken place.”

– Stay updated with the latest Pune news. Follow Express Pune on Twitter here and on Facebook here. You can also join our Express Pune Telegram channel here.

Relekar said the association has appealed to all sections of society, including officers in the state administration, to look after power engineers and staff in a humane manner, and to try to provide immediate treatment to the affected engineers and their families. “Priority should be given to them. The general public should keep in mind that any power engineer or staff is working as per the directives given by the higher authority or management of the company”.

The association said: “It is important for all of us to be aware that if the power engineers and staff continue to suffer from coronavirus, the power supply can be affected. The expectation is that the general public and all sections of the society should also stand firmly behind them… this is a humble request.”

Source: Read Full Article