New Delhi: The All India Association of Coal Executives (AIACE) has urged the management of state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) to keep in abeyance a release order issued by it for employees who have been promoted from E5 to E6 grade, considering the risk posed by the second wave of COVID-19 infections. In a letter addressed to Coal India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Pramod Agrawal, the AIACE said, "We shall like to highlight the fact that sensing the gravity of pandemic situation, even CIL has opted to postpone the Annual Coal Sock Measurement in SECL, WCL and MCL which was due to commence from 19th of April, 2021. In this month itself, many employees and executives and their family members have lost their lives and many are still struggling for life."
"In this situation, the release order has not only created panic among affected executives but also on their family members and children," said the executives association.
In an order released on September 9, 2020, CIL had promoted E5 executives to E6 grade and had also announced their transfers. However, the transferred executives were allowed to join at their present place of posting in view of the COVID-19 situation and the management had said that the decision will be reviewed in March 2021. At a board meeting held on April 6, it was decided that Coal India and its subsidiaries will issue release orders for promoted employees within 10 days of an official order in this regard.
In line with this decision, an official order was issued on April 12, urging the management to arrange the release of executives on or before April 21 for joining at their transferred place of posting.
"These executives would have gladly accepted to be released by the time stipulated in this order, but suddenly our country has fallen in the grip of 2nd wave of Covid-19 pandemic which is stated to be three to four times deadlier and infectious than the virus prevailing last year. It may be recalled that the situation has drastically changed in the last one week, after CIL Board decided to execute these transfer orders," said the AIACE. It added, "Under the circumstances, we at AIACE are compelled to request you to keep in abeyance these release orders for a few weeks till the situation eases allowing safe inter-state movements, especially, when local level lockdowns have been imposed in different parts of the country."
The letter comes just days after Chhattisgarh-based CIL subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) declared work from home (WFH) for employees as Bilaspur, along with several other districts in the state, was put under a lockdown to arrest the steep rise in COVID-19 infections. According to the Health Ministry, a total of 1,84,372 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours. Ten states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown a rise in new COVID new cases. Around 82.04 percent of the new cases are reported from these 10 states.