Work out two shifts for Mantralaya staffers: Maharashtra CM
With nearly 75 state secretariat employees testing positive for Covid-19 in the past two days, chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday directed the chief secretary to work out two shifts for Mantralaya staffers and officials. He also directed officials to work out how many departments can be given work-from-home facilities to reduce the number of employees visiting Mantralaya.
“Let us work out a new way of working, with which we’ll be able to work in full capacity and the threat of coronavirus will also be less. All the Mantralaya unions must work together and see how two shifts can be made to carry out daily business,” he said in the meeting, as per a note from his office.
The order from CM comes three days after he requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look at formulating a policy for staggered working hours during the 6th Governing Council of Niti Aayog.
During a meeting with representatives of Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation and other Mantralaya unions held at his official residence Varsha, CM said that Mantralaya employees and officials must be treated as frontline workers and should be given priority in getting vaccinated.
“Looking at the rising Covid-19 cases, all Mantralaya employees and officials must be treated as frontline workers and given priority in vaccination,” Thackeray further said.
He also said that the temperature of all persons visiting Mantralaya should be checked and arrangements must be made for conducting antigen tests of those with symptoms.
“There should be a permanent facility to conduct antigen tests. People who have come in contact or are infected will not be able to enter the premises,” the statement from his office added.
GD Kulthe, chief advisor of the Maharashtra State Gazetted Officers Federation, welcomed CM’s decisions.
“Having two shifts is largely possible and can be done in at least some of the departments. Such steps have to be taken looking at the situation. In the past two days, 75 employees have tested positive. We can have shifts from 8am to 2pm and 2pm to 7pm. We are deliberating on how it would be done,” Kulthe said.
Vishnu Patil of the state government employees’ union, who was present in the meeting, also backed the idea. The state is also deliberating on limiting the number of visitors in Mantralaya. The number of visitors has increased in the last few months, Patil said, adding “We have demanded that visitors should be stopped for some time now.”