KHAMMAM: Nearly one-fourth of the 1,656 employees working with the Northern Power Distribution Corporation Ltd in united Khammam district has been tested Covid-positive. The employees are worried and tensed.
The fast spreading of Covid-19 in the second wave showed more effect on the employees working in the meter-reading department. About 342 employees were hit by the pandemic and four persons died of it so far.
There are 1,002 employees in the district electricity department. Of them, 192 tested positive and two persons died. In Bhadradri district, about 150 persons out of the 650 employees were hit by the virus and two of them passed away.
About 75 per cent of the meter-reading workforce is drawn from outsourcing agencies and 25 per cent from among the electricity department staff. The outsourcing employees are not coming to do meter reading due to the intense spread of virus in the second wave.
Faced with this situation, the electricity department introduced a self-billing App and asked customers to download the App. The customers can read the meter through the App and pay the bills online. But, the App did not give the expected results.
On the other hand, the unseasonal gales in various areas in Khammam district forced the field staff like artisans, lineman, sub-station operators, assistant engineers and deputy engineers to go to the villages to restore the power lines and burnt transformers.
Lineman Srinivasa Rao said these personnel have to meet the casual labourers while restoring the transformers and there is every possibility of contracting the virus.
United electricity employees union secretary Prasad said more employees in the meter-reading department fell victim to the virus. The government is urged to recognize them as frontline warriors and give vaccination to the employees on priority basis, he said.
Though electricity officials wrote letters to the collector and the DMHO of two districts for giving them vaccination on a priority basis, the process has not commenced....