Covid-19: Arvind Kejriwal to meet L-G with plan to shut some govt offices

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to propose shutting down of most government offices till March 31 to fight coronavirus menace.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is likely to suggest shutdown of some Dehi government offices in the wake of the Covid 19 threat.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is likely to suggest shutdown of some Dehi government offices in the wake of the Covid 19 threat.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 19, 2020 06:11 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySweta Goswami

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) contagion is making the Delhi government work on a plan to shut some of its departments till March 31 to prevent a possible community spread of the deadly disease in the city, functionaries privy to the matter said on Thursday.

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Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to discuss this proposal with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in a meeting scheduled at 4:15 pm at Raj Niwas. Coronavirus has infected 13 people in the city.

“The proposal is to shut most of the departments till March 31. But, departments catering to essential services such as health, food and civil supplies, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Fire Services and so on are likely to remain open,” said a senior government official on condition of anonymity.

A second official said that all procedures from the Delhi government’s end have been completed. “A green signal from the L-G is awaited which is one of the reasons why the chief minister will be meeting him today,” the official said.


Staggering office timings for some departments like it was done during the odd-even road rationing scheme when air pollution had peaked in the city is also being explored, the official added.

The proposal comes after a delegation of the Delhi Government Employees’ Welfare Association (DGEWA), met Kejriwal to demand a week’s leave and submitted a memorandum stating that around 2.5 lakh people are employed with the city administration and most of them are engaged in public dealings, making them vulnerable to an infection.

The association suggested that the government can completely shut 86 departments. These include art, culture and languages, tourism, development and education departments.


It had also proposed that 68 government offices be allowed to function on alternate days, while registrar and MLO offices be closed because property registration and driving license can be issued later.

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In a tweet, Kejriwal on Thursday urged people to work from home. “I have directed all schools, colleges and universities in Delhi to be shut down completely both for students and the staff until 31 March. All exams, including Board exams will happen only after 31 March. I urge all Delhiites to work from home as far as possible #DelhiFightsCorona,” he said.

Officials said the chief minister and the L-G have also explored the possibility of restricting passenger flow in public transport. “But, it was also observed that Delhi being the national Capital putting curbs on public transport would be extremely difficult and could cause inconvenience to a number of people. All these are still being discussed,” a third official said.

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