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With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases during the second wave, the power industry has requested the government to treat all operational staff of the generation, distribution and transmission companies as priority category for vaccination. In a letter to Union power minister RK Singh, the Association of Power Producers (APPs) said that many of its members across the electricity supply value chain have reported large number of positive Covid-19 cases amongst their operating staff.
“One of our members has reported 75 positive cases in their Chattisgarh plant recently,” the letter from APP, reviewed by FE, pointed. The Maharashtra government has already categorised all electricity distribution staff of private and PSU power distribution companies as ‘front line workers’, enabling their early vaccination.
In March, 2020, the government had exempted movement of personnel and equipment related to power generation and transmission from the country-wide lockdown. The Union ministries of power and renewable energy had granted exemptions from “Section 144, nationwide lockdown, or any other such limitations” to enable requisite manpower and ensure uninterrupted operations of power generating stations and electricity transmission networks.
Even as the electricity demand has recorded an annual rise for the seventh straight month in March, power demand in FY21 dropped by 1% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis to 1,271.6 billion units. Power consumption in the country fell 8.5% y-o-y to 625.6 BU in the first half of FY21 as industrial and commercial activities remained muted amid lockdowns.
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