The district magistrate has decided to exempt over 600 business process outsourcing (BPO) units that employ nearly two lakh employees from the area-wise weekly off schedule, subject to adoption of some environment-friendly measures.
BPOs must phase out their diesel-run vehicles in three months, change duty hours to match non-peak congestion hours, encourage employees to carpool and use CNG for running gensets.
The BPOs will have to furnish affidavit to this effect and the assurances given by them will be subject to a monthly audit by the district administration.
The decision was taken on the basis that it was difficult for such a large workforce to observe their weekly off according to the schedule.
To reduce vehicular pollution in the district, district magistrate NP Singh ordered a slew of measures to be taken from January 1 that included observing area-wise weekly off by industries and markets.
However, BPOs had been demanding exemption from the same on the grounds that most of their clients are overseas who observe weekly off on Saturday and Sunday and closing office on any other day of the week would affect their business adversely as they cannot keep in touch with the clients for three days a week.
Singh said he recently held consultations with representatives of BPOs on the issue and it was deliberated that exemption could be granted provided they played a positive role in reducing air pollution in the district.
“They will have to comply with four conditions that include phasing out their diesel-run vehicles in three months, staggering duty hours of their employees to match off-peak congestion hours, encouraging their employees to carpool and run their gensets on compressed natural gas. They will have to furnish an affidavit affirming they will comply with all these conditions,” the DM said, adding that nearly one lakh vehicles are used by those employed with BPOs.
He said the BPOs will have to phase out 30% of the diesel-run vehicles used by their employees for commuting every month. “If, by March 31, they are able to replace 90% of their diesel-run vehicles with CNG-run vehicles, it will be a great contribution. A monthly audit of all the commitments made by them for seeking exemption will be conducted. We are going to hold a meeting by associating Nasscom to give it a final shape, shortly,” Singh said.