Delhi CM discusses ways for staggered working hours

New Delhi: To reduce heavy traffic congestion and air pollution in the national capital during winters, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met CEO of World Resources Institute (WRI) O.P. Aggarwal, to discuss ways to implement staggering office hours.

Kejriwal said the Delhi government is taking all possible steps to prepare for the onset of the Crop Residue Burning and winter season.

“We have already announced an action plan for tackling the situation. In addition, we are also pursuing the idea of staggering office hours to cut down on vehicular emissions due to congestion. This is a tried and tested method used around the world.”

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The Chief Minister had invited Aggarwal, a renowned expert on transportation and urban policy issues, to discuss the means of implementing staggering office hours in Delhi’s offices, the government said in a statement.

A former IAS officer, Aggarwal was also the head of the Urban Transport Division of the Government of India.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister requested Aggarwal to devise a plan for staggering office timings for the government departments, the government said.

Kejriwal asked Aggarwal on how the city government can effectively stagger office timings to tackle the problems of traffic congestion and air pollution in the city.

“Delhi has multiple choke points that are congested because they are on the routes to offices where a large number of people travel every day. We will identify such points and routes and explore possibilities of staggering hours for those who use such arterial routes,” said the Chief Minister.

World Resources Institute (WRI) has been associated with the Delhi government in several route rationalization initiatives among others, including aiding the government design staggering of office timings during the odd-even scheme.

Aggarwal said Delhi has natural organic staggered timing system of various departments and sections.

“The domestic operations, such as milk and newspapers delivery start at 6 a.m. and schools start at 8 a.m. The central government offices start at 9 a.m. and Delhi government offices start at 10 a.m. In Delhi-NCR the evening congestion starts from 2 p.m. with the closing of schools, and successively till 6-7 p.m. with the closing of public and private offices,” he said.

“I believe that steps should be taken in the direction to solve the congestion problem in Delhi because various government structures here are situated at one location which creates heavy traffic and road blockage,” Aggarwal added.

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