The Transport Department has decided to speed up vaccination of its employees, comprising drivers and conductors, in the wake of a sharp spike in the cases of COVID-19.
The Department has identified 70,657 employees aged above 45 for receiving the vaccine.
The eight State Transport Corporations (STCs), including the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Chennai, have about 1.2 lakh employees.
A senior official said more than 36% of the drivers and conductors had been vaccinated since the first week of March when the programme was rolled out. The Department was taking steps to speed up the vaccination but because of shift timings and other work-related issues, employees above the age of 45 are expected to be vaccinated only by the end of May.
Once all employees aged above 45 get vaccinated, the remaining workforce would be covered in the second phase, he added.
Transport Secretary C. Samayamoorthy on Wednesday inspected the vaccination camp being conducted for drivers and conductors at the MTC headquarters in the city.
Mr. Samayamoorthy said that since the announcement of restrictions by the State government to disallow travel by standing on buses to avoid overcrowding and to maintain social distancing, the STCs have been suffering financial losses in the range of ₹12 crore to ₹15 crore daily.
Despite the fall in fare collection, the Department has advised all senior officials of all the corporations to operate more number of buses so that commuters did not face any inconvenience.
The MTC, which operates 2,790 buses, has started operating an additional 350 buses daily. The MTC has a fleet of 3,300 buses.