In recent weeks, four KSEB employees have died of COVID-19, while several others have tested positive
A decision is still awaited on the demand that power sector employees in the State be given priority for vaccination against COVID-19.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has again approached the State Government seeking priority for its employees in the vaccination programme. Protecting power sector personnel from infection is imperative for ensuring 24×7 power supply in the State, the State-run power utility, which employs 33,000 people, has reminded the Government.
The KSEB had taken up the matter with the Government in April, but renewed its demand after the Union Power Ministry wrote to the States on April 26 asking them to organise mass vaccination camps for power sector staff working in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution sectors.
The KSEB has written to the Chief Secretary, the State Power Secretary, and the Health Department in this regard. N. S. Pillai, the chairman and managing director of KSEB, has also spoken to Chief Secretary V. P. Joy who has agreed to look into the matter.
In recent weeks, four KSEB employees have died of COVID-19, while several others have tested positive. Such a situation would leave the power utility short-staffed for carrying out repairs and restoring supply during outages, the employees’ unions in the KSEB have warned.
In its letter to the States, the Union Power Ministry had urged State Governments to direct their health machineries to ”extend all possible support and cooperation in carrying out mass vaccination camps at appropriate locations to cover all power sector personnel on first priority.”
This would go a long way in keeping the morale of the power sector personnel, protecting them from infection and ensuring 24×7 uninterrupted power supply, Alok Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Power noted in the letter. The Ministry also noted that uninterrupted power supply is essential for ensuring seamless public health service delivery during the pandemic.
In April, the Power Ministry had also sought weekly updates from the States on COVID-19 infections and vaccination among power sector employees.
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