CPCB to Public and Private Offices: Let Employees Work From Home

The Proposal

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recommended that private and public sector units should allow employees to work from home as a step to curb pollution. A CPCB-led task force suggested that government and corporate employees themselves also need to take action such as the use of public transport or carpooling.

The task force further directed schools to utilize bus services for drop and pick up services for children to reduce the use of private vehicles. CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava told reporters. “We have issued an advisory to corporates, including the IT sector, to encourage its employees to work from home in the next few months to reduce pollution caused due to traffic congestion in the national capital,” Mr Gargava added.

There is also a proposed ban on diesel-run back-up generators. These generators have further been complicating the measures to tackle pollution in multiple areas of old Gurgaon and all of the 58 sectors made after 2007. These regions run only on generators as none of them have a regular power supply.

The Situation

With wind speeds falling, the air quality is not likely to improve, and according to estimations, pollution levels will range between “poor” and “very poor”. The air quality index from 0 – 50 is considered good, from 51 -100 is moderate, 101-150 is “unhealthy for sensitive groups”, 151-200 is “unhealthy”, 201-300 “very unhealthy”, and 300+ is considered “hazardous”.

With the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon scheduled on Sunday, October 20th, participants and organizers are both wishing for a miracle. The marathon organizers have shifted the annual marathon, which is usually held in November, to be held in October to protect runners from the pollution spike after Diwali. Organizer Harsh Vardhan Sahni, while referring to the surge in pollution during the festival, called Diwali the “big culprit” of pollution levels in the capital.

The center has to proactively deal with the rising pollution levels, which increase severely due to corporate and government offices. THE CPCB is also working to regulate private vehicles to minimize the effect of automobiles in the capital. The Delhi Government and the CPBC have been working together to curb pollution for a long time, and the job is being done but at a rather disappointing level.

In Conclusion

Working from home is a win-win situation for companies, employees and the government, but is not sustainable in the long run. The CPCB clarified “these recommendations are advisory in nature, but people’s participation will definitely go a long way in fighting against pollution. We will be sending these recommendations to the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) for approval.”