TRICHY: Working for over 15 days without leave to restore power in cyclone-affected areas, several electricity board (EB) workers are now getting replacements so that they can visit home.
Over the past three days, workers are being replaced in batches to fight burnout. However, workers in some areas say that they are forced to stay back by their seniors. electric poles were uprooted or damaged during Cyclone Gaja, which made landfall in the state on November 15, in the delta districts. EB workers were engaged right from day one to restore power in the affected places.
In Nagapattinam alone, 5,096 workers from various places are working to restore power across the district. Similar number of workers are engaged in Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts.
“There is disappointment among workers as several of them were denied leaves by senior officials,” said general secretary, Central Organisation of Tamil Nadu Electricity Employees COTEE S Rajendran.
“Relentless work in different terrains has made many of the workers fall sick. In some places, officials are allowing workers to go home but it should happen in an even manner. We have petitioned chairman and managing director of Tangedco, Vikram Kapur on the same,” he said.
Health secretary J Radhakrishnan, who is also the district monitoring officer of Nagapatinnam, said, “We have replaced about 1,880 workers out of the total 6,752 in the past three days in Nagapattinnam. Besides this, workers from Nagapattinnam distribution circle have also started getting weekly offs.”
Almost 85% of the workers are from different parts of the state and they have been replaced in batches, he added.
“A section of workers in Tiruvarur were denied leave by seniors following which the workers decided to call off work. They were later allowed to go. As work is expected to go on till December, workers from other parts of the state will be brought in giving rest to those who have been toiling hard so far,” said an EB staff working in Tiruvarur.