Green is the new black. There is a raging debate going on about the Delhi Government’s decision to curb pollution – the odd-even car rule policy. While the policy looks quite impressive, but execution of the idea seems to have drawn large number of flaks from people. Although, it will be implemented temporarily, the rule implies that in Delhi, private cars with odd vehicle number plates will ply on odd dates and those with even number plates will ply on even dates from 8am-8pm, with exemption on Sundays. However, single women drivers are exempted from this rule.
This radical plan to restrict the plying of private vehicles was taken into consideration after Delhi’s air quality kept on going down to poisonous levels post Diwali. This even forced the Supreme Court of India impose an envrironmental cess on all trucks passing through Delhi to other states. To provide alternative means of transport, the government has already planned to fast-track the public transport system. Getting about 1,000 more buses in three months is the top priority.
While the government is busy chalking plans for how to implement the odd-even rule, there is a lot of confusion in the minds of employees working for different organisations, who has to commute long hours to work. Some quick steps by the HR will help ease this tension, and will help in developing engagement with the employees as well.
Pick and drop facility: While a lot of companies have this as their basic facility, HR needs to address the hourly factor – providing every half-an-hour cab services can be followed, while buses can ply hourly. Streamlining the contacts of the employees staying close-by, making sure all the employees are covered, and also cabs are booked well in advance to reduce the bottlenecks of travelling together. Cab/Bus vendors should be contacted in advance depending on the requirement. The HR should proactively do this, as depending on the employees to come and ask for information will only add to the confusion.
Privileged parking facility for car pools: Employees who stay nearby might want to avail this car-pool system on their own. Pre-empting this move, the HR can keep certain parking areas exclusive for car-poolers. Bicycles are also used by a lot of employees in the effort to go green. Dedicated bicycle-parking will also help employees.
Flexible work days: The easiest way to address this odd-even number rule is to implement work-from-home option. Employees who don’t have to deal with clients can opt for this option. But HR should get the job descriptions of the employees right to keep a tab on who takes this option and don’t. In case, work-from-home option doesn’t apply, then the company should have a robust pick-and-drop facility to help in commuting.
Transportation allowance: Employees using public transport for travelling should be given incentives in the form of transportation allowances. Emailing employees who prefer taking public transport, so that they get the required reward at the end of the month should help HR ironing out the problems that might occur later.
Technological-help: High bandwidth data connectivity to employees so that in case of work-from-home or plug and work from any place will be easier for them. Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, Tango – are few platforms where video calling option can be availed. In case of sudden team-meets on days employees are working from home, this tech-help will help in getting the work done in a much systematic and structured manner.
Global warming is the hot topic worldwide. And many corporates are going green in their own way. While we all need to act proactively in this aspect, we cannot but agree that in a developing country like India, policy implementation takes a lot of time. Even if it is implemented, people sometimes don’t care about it. Pollution is something which is non-negotiable, and to keep our environment clean and green, these initiatives will definitely help the cause.