New Delhi: In the backdrop of a steep surge in COVID-19 infections, the Central government has asked state governments to arrange a special vaccination drive to ensure that all power sector personnel, working in both private and public sector — generation, transmission and distribution utilities — are vaccinated. While noting that uninterrupted power supply is essential from the point of view of ensuring seamless public health service delivery and to allow people to avail services online, the Ministry of Power said, "Therefore, it is imperative that the Power sector personnel, many of whom have to work in close proximity with each other and have public interfaces, remain protected from the infection, so that all three wings of power supply, namely generation, transmission and distribution are able to collectively provide 24×7 uninterrupted power supply."
In the letter, addressed to the Chief Secretaries of states and Union Territories, Power Secretary Alok Kumar urged them to arrange a special COVID-19 vaccination drive for power sector personnel on priority. "Since the government has now allowed vaccination of all individuals above the age of 18 years, I would like to request you to kindly arrange and facilitate special vaccination drive on first priority across all Utility personnel working in generation, transmission and distribution sectors, whether on the rolls of DISCOMs or contractual, both in public and private sectors, as well as in various crucial centres/offices such as Central and Regional Load Despatch Centres, the Control Rooms and other institutions which contribute to the uninterrupted power supply, on priority basis," said the letter.
"I would be grateful if you could kindly direct the State Health machinery in your State 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 in your state as this would go a long way in keeping the morale of the Power sector personnel besides protecting them from infection and in enabling them to provide their services continuously for ensuring 24×7 un-interrupted power supply," said the Power Secretary.