Maharashtra COVID-19 spike: Mantralaya to work in two shifts

Mumbai: In view of the spike in the Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday instructed the chief secretary to immediately devise a plan for Mantralaya offices to work in two shifts and also determine how many departments could work at full capacity by allowing its employees to work from home. This is to curb the crowds of visitors that throng Mantralaya during its current working hours.

The administrative headquarters of the Maharashtra government in south Mumbai, Mantralaya has over 5,000 employees, apart from the ministers and bureaucrats who also operate from here. Thackeray’s directive came a day after eight employees from the revenue department were detected Covid-positive while the reports of 14 others were awaited.

The chief minister’s directive is crucial as he had suggested to the Centre at the NITI Aayog meeting held on February 20, to craft a national policy to change office hours and thereby, alter the 10am to 5pm mindset.

Speaking to the office bearers of the Federation of Gazetted Officers on Tuesday, Thackeray said Maharashtra should take the initiative to establish a new work culture. He, however, urged the federation representatives to take their members and other department employees into confidence for the successful implementation of two shifts for Mantralaya offices.

He also directed thermal scanning of officials and staff of all the departments housed in Mantralaya before they stepped into their workplace. He said a permanent arrangement should be made to conduct antigen testing.

Further, Thackeray directed the chief secretary to arrange for the vaccination of all officials and employees as frontline employees, in the backdrop of rising cases.

Free Press Journal