February 24, 2021 9:13:44 pm
A day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray issued directives on staggering the office hours of the state secretariat, Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar on Wednesday asked the secretaries of all departments in Mantralaya to take a decision in this regard and ensure the implementation of social distancing norms without affecting everyday work.
In a letter addressed to the secretaries, Kumar stated that staggering may be initiated in Mantralaya so as to avoid crowding in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases. “The staggering could be in the form of calling department personnel on alternate days, three-day or weekly shifts or even staggering the working hours, so as to ensure that there is no crowding and all social distancing norms are maintained,” wrote Kumar.
Kumar further asked the secretaries of all departments to decide on what form of staggering could be adopted to maintain Covid protocols at all times, while ensuring that Mantralaya’s working is not affected.
He also left it to the secretaries to decide whether Covid norms could be maintained without staggering the office hours. “In case it is felt that Covid protocols can be maintained and safety of all personnel can be ensured even with full attendance and without staggering, you may take a decision accordingly,” he added.
On Tuesday, Thackeray had instructed the state administration to immediately draw up a plan on how the office hours of Mantralaya could be adjusted in two shifts. Last week, Thackeray, at the meeting of the NITI Aayog, had said the Centre should bring a policy on working hours beyond the conventional 10 am to 5 pm office hours. Maharashtra Police, too, have issued an order directing officers across the state to work in staggered timings.
“In order to avoid crowding, a certain percentage of the staff will remain present at police stations and other establishments during a particular shift, so as to reduce exposure and also help with social distancing measures,” said a senior police official.
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