Electricity staff paid triple wages to restore power in delta dts

Chennai: One of Cyclone Gaja’s worst fallout must be the snapping of power lines in the delta districts. The gusty winds brought down hundreds of electricity poles. Many power cables also snapped when trees fell on them during the severe cyclonic storm.

The Electricity Department is working on a war-footing to restore power in the delta districts. In a bid to boost the morale of the linemen and other department staff, the government has promised three days’ wages for one day.

The districts that have been affected the most are Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai. In all, 84,836 electricity poles have been uprooted in these districts and 841 transformers have been damaged.

According to reports, 13,629 electricity staff are working round-the-clock to restore power supply. The dedicated staff are encountering immense difficulty in their job, say sources.

Said a department staff, “We have been paying triple wages to the staff from 16 November. Apart from this, we are also paying Rs 100 as bata every day. While this is for the regular staff, the contract labourers are being paid Rs 1,000 per day for the work they do. We will maintain this payment till power is completely restored in the affected areas.”

NT Bureau