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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Staggered timings for Delhi govt offices

cities Updated: Oct 12, 2019 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

All Delhi government offices will follow staggered work timings during the 12-day odd-even road space rationing drive from November 4 to 15, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference on the odd-even drive and other pollution mitigation efforts, Kejriwal said, “In principle, we have decided to stagger office timings during the odd-even drive. Full details on this will be shared in a few days as consultations with departments and experts are still on.”

The Delhi government has at least 81 offices under it and over a lakh employees. While the state transport department has suggested shifting timings of Delhi government offices from the existing 9:30am-6pm shift to 11am-7:30 pm, senior officials in the chief minister’s office said the suggested timings are still being reviewed for feasibility.

“The department has suggested a blanket shift in work schedule for all government offices. But, it has not taken into consideration that even to reach office at 11am or leave for home from 7:30pm, employees will still have to leave home during the peak hours, which will not have much impact,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.

Kejriwal has assigned the task to of preparing a report on staggering office timings to a special committee of experts which is headed by OP Agarwal, CEO of World Resources Institute (WRI) India and a former head of the urban transport division of the central government.

According to Agarwal, staggered office timing cannot be a success if implemented as a blanket rule across the city. He has instead proposed “location-specific” change in timings — that is, timings will be depending on traffic congestion in a particular area where the office is.

To augment public transport during the odd-even drive, transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the government will engage 2,000 private buses to handle the additional load. The state government will pay them Rs 50 per kilometer.

“The routes will be aligned in such a way that office-goers who are following the staggered timing will also be able to board the bus,” he said. He added that busy markets such as Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh and even a few industrial areas have been identified and that the study is still on.

Kejriwal praise for Centre, MCDs

Stating that he is “not interested in pointing fingers at others at a time when people are suffering due to pollution,” Kejriwal on Saturday lauded the efforts of the BJP-ruled central government and the city’s municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs).

“In Delhi, all agencies and departments have worked together because of which pollution in the city has started to reduce today. The central government built the eastern and western peripheral expressways. The MCDs and Delhi government raided and fined construction sites flouting pollution norms. In some areas, the civic bodies have started mechanical sweeping, though it needs to be scaled up. The Delhi government too has taken a lot of efforts,” said the chief minister.

He stated that the smoke from stubble burning in neighbouring states has started reaching Delhi because of which air quality has started deteriorating. The onus, however, he said was on the governments.

“Farmers cannot be blamed for burning their stubble because they need to prepare for the next crop cycle. It is the responsibility of governments to provide the technology that is now easily available to the farmers. I appeal to the concerned governments to help the farmers. The Centre will have to take the lead on this. Efforts by individuals cannot succeed,” Kejriwal said.

Mega laser show in Connaught Place

To dissuade people from bursting crackers, the Delhi government will organise a mega Diwali laser show between October 26 and 29 at Connaught Place, Kejriwal said. “In order to encourage people to not burst crackers this Diwali, the Delhi government is organising a mega laser show in Connaught Place between October 26-29 from 7 p.m. onwards. I invite all of Delhi to enjoy the laser show,” said the Chief Minister.


First Published: Oct 12, 2019 23:12 IST

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