The recent decision by the Delhi government to have only 50% of its employees physically in the offices as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 proves to be an “easier said than done” case. Some departments have not yet approved the policy, others do not know how to proceed as they are indirectly involved in Covid-19 activities.
On Tuesday, the first day the ordinance went into effect, few government agencies were able to switch to the work from home (WFH) list while the rest continue to work as usual.
Departments like Services, General Administration and Oversight began the WFH roster on Monday, with most employees opting to report to work every other day.
On Saturday the Delhi government had given the order to implement a domestic policy work for at least 50% of the total workforce without bureaucrats in the EU since the week of December 1 to government offices and departments that are not in first line. of the management of Covid-19. The decision was made in light of the situation in Covid-19.
The capital is currently going through the third wave of Covid-19. While on November 11 it registered the highest number of cases per day (8,593), on November 18 it registered the highest number of deaths per day (131). The case positivity rate reached 15.26% on November 7. The government has claimed that both cases and the positivity rate are gradually decreasing.
Although the WFH policy does not apply to departments such as health, county councils, home guards, civil defense, prison staff and the water department, senior officials said it would still hamper the delivery of public services.
“Services such as issuance of driver’s licenses, income and caste, certificates or registration assistant functions will continue as usual. However, due to WFH policy, the wait time will likely be longer. For example, the time frame for obtaining a driver’s license is already one or two months and the waiting time may now be longer. In addition, we believe that we have staggered the hours at the road traffic offices, ”said a senior traffic officer on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi government has about 150 departments and employs about 250,000 people. The final appointment also does not include rank I officers: IAS officers, DANICS officers, and those promoted to equivalent ranks.
“Departments like Education, Labor and Nutrition, as well as Civil Care, have many employees who are indirectly involved in Covid-19 activities. The Department of Education requested a meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss how the WFH can be implemented, ”said Umesh Batra, Secretary General of the Delhi Government Employees Welfare Association (DGEWA).
The Delhi government implemented a similar policy during the national shutdown, and most departments continued to operate through June 30, with only 50% of those physically present on duty. When restrictions were eased starting in July, the order was gradually relaxed.