Employees left to make own transport arrangements as offices resume
As offices resumed work with partial staff from Monday, with the Delhi government also holding a cabinet meeting, many employees were left to make their own arrange transport arrangements in the absence of public transport.
As per the Delhi government’s orders, all private offices can operate with 33% staff strength physically present on the premises and the rest working from home. Similarly, all Delhi government officials, of deputy secretary rank and higher, can function with 100% staff, while 33% of staff strength is allowed for other ranks.
The Delhi Secretariat sprang to life on Monday as officers reported to work, even though the number of hours they clocked in office was lower than usual.
Sub-registrar offices, which deal with the registration of properties and other related works, also opened after more than a month.
“The online application window was resumed today (Monday) as well. So, we saw fewer people physically coming to the office because they have to take appointments. We are maintaining adequate social distancing norms in the office,” said an official at the sub-registrar office in south Delhi’s Hauz Khaz.
Thermal screening of employees and visitors was carried out in all government buildings on Monday. The number of people in lifts has also been restricted, from two to four, depending on the lift size..
While senior government officials used their official cars, the Delhi government arranged for cars to pick up and drop employees. However, a few were left to their own devices, such as the staff working at the secretariat canteen.
“Since the Metro is shut, my husband dropped me and he will pick me up. We have not been given any pick-up and drop facility yet,” a chef at the canteen said.
In the private sector, while larger companies arranged office cabs for employees, others had to make carpools with colleagues.
“I usually take the Metro to the office but today (Monday), I had to ask my colleague to pick me up on his way. Office cabs are being provided only to those working early morning and night shifts,” said Vedant Tripathy, a management consultant working in south Delhi’s Nehru Place.
However, some were caught at the inter-state borders, unable to crossover to their offices. A lack of clarity over inter-city commute for work led to many being stuck at the Delhi-Noida borders on Monday morning.
“We were told that only those who are living and working in Noida are allowed to resume work. The police stopped us, saying that people living in Delhi and working in Noida cannot be allowed. We have been asked to report by our employers but we are stuck here, unable to reach,” said Murlidhar Yadav, at the Delhi-Noida border on Monday morning.
Barring initial hiccups, private companies had made arrangements to screen employees at entrances and ensuring social distancing.
Be Safe, a security agency headquartered in Jhandewalan, resumed its call centre services on Monday with 15 employees. The temperature of each employee was checked at the entrance and workstations were arranged to allow six feet distance among one another.
“We made sure that none of the staff coming in today had any symptoms of flu. We have also given each of our employees a bottle of hand sanitizer so that they can keep their hands clean,” said Sumegha Kirti, spokesperson of the firm.