Offices in Central Delhi shut early on Wednesday as the government decided to give itself a half day to prepare for the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Prime Minister’s ambitious programme, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on Thursday.
An official memorandum had been sent to several ministries and government departments on Tuesday evening, declaring an early day off on Wednesday “in connection with the nationwide launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.
Though October 2 had previously been a gazetted holiday, the ministries will remain open on Thursday, at least for the first half of the day.
The memorandum stated, “It has been stated that the government offices would be closed early at 1400 hours on October 1, 2014 and will remain closed till 10.30 am on October 2, 2014.”
The list of offices includes South Block, North Block, Rail Bhawan, CSIR Building, Krishi Bhawan, Shastri Bhawan, Reserve Bank of India, Yojana Bhawan, National Archives, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, National Media Centre, and several other government offices.
The Delhi Police has issued a traffic advisory for Thursday. According to this, Rajpath and Rafi Marg will be closed for traffic from 5 am to 10.30 am. Janpath and Man Singh Road will be closed between 8 am and 10.30 am.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to launch Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Rajpath and flag off a walkathon. Approximately 5,000 schoolchildren will participate in the event. The programme will be attended by government officials, diplomats and expats. Representatives of corporate houses and the Chamber of Commerce, faculty & students of universities/colleges will also be present at the event.
The police advisory said traffic diversions will be suitably enforced on roads in the vicinity of Rajpath and along the route of the walkathon. “Sufficient traffic personnel shall be deployed for ensuring proper diversions and guiding the road users,” the advisory said.
Commuters have been advised to avoid New Delhi area until the end of the function (approximately 12 pm) and plan movement accordingly in view of the events.