Air pollution:50% Delhi govt staff to work from home, private offices asked to follow suit

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A man walks amid low visibility due to smog, at Kartavya Path in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Alarmed by hazardous pollution levels in Delhi, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday ordered 50 per cent staff of the Delhi government to work from home and said an advisory will be issued to private offices to follow suit.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said primary schools will be closed from Saturday in a bid to protect children from the effects of worsening air quality.

At a press conference, Rai said schools will be asked to curtail outdoor activities of senior students.

He said the Delhi government has decided to implement the anti-pollution curbs recommended by the Commission for Air Quality Management, including a ban on non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles.

"At a meeting with departments concerned, it has been decided that 50 per cent staff of government offices will work from home from Monday and an advisory will be issued to private offices to follow suit," Rai said.

In a bid to ramp up public transport, the government will also launch 'Paryavaran Bus Service' which will include 500 privately-run CNG buses.

Rai said a six-member team comprising senior officials has been set up to monitor the implementation of the curbs on anti-polluting activities.

Revenue commissioners have been asked to prepare a plan for staggered timings of markets and offices, he said.

He added that the government will implement the odd-even car rationing scheme if need arises and discussions on it are on.


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