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Thursday, November 28, 2013


Employees directed to use public transport to travel to work from home once a week based on directive by Centre
On Wednesday, employees of the postal department will head to work and back in public buses, as part of a campaign to ensure ‘fuel economy’. ‘Bus Day’ is part of an initiative by the Ministry of Petroleum to generate awareness about the need to conserve petroleum products, especially in the transport sector. And though some employees are grumbling about the extra time they will have to spend when using public transport, they can hardly refuse the Centre’s diktat. 
“Ahmedabad’s postal department employs around 2,000 people and around 80 per cent of them use personal vehicles to reach office. Even if around 1,500 vehicles are not used in a single day, it will send out a positive message and give intended results,” said B R Joshi, senior post master at Navrangpura post office. 
“Wednesdays will be ‘Bus Day’ and we intend to begin the initiative from November 27. The directive is on the basis of instructions by Ministry of Petroleum and we will ensure they are followed. Pitching in to conserve fuel is also a moral responsibility,” Joshi added. 
According to Joshi, the ministry has delivered instructions to the main post offices in Gujarat namely Vadodara, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Himmatnagar, Palanpur and Patan, Joshi informed. “Employees will be required to reach office by buses, not autorickshaws or taxis. Official work will remain unaffected by this policy,” he added.
Employees, however, are not motivated to be a part of this campaign. “There are many factors that will discourage an individual from using public transport. In fact, some employees are certain these are just instructions and are not to be followed.
Higher authorities will need to ensure strict vigilance if they want the initiative to be successful,” said a source from the postal department. Employees in the department confirmed this sentiment. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one employee said, “These are just instructions and it is not mandatory for us to follow them.” 
Another employee, seeking anonymity, said, “I reach office in 10 minutes if I drive my own vehicle. If I use the bus, it will take me 45 minutes to reach office. However, if the authorities insist, all of us will have to follow the rules.” 
Meanwhile, the private sector and common man seem to be lauding the thought. “While using public transport on a daily basis will not be feasible for our employees and will affect their productivity, they do make individual efforts to ensure they do their bit,” said Sweta Papaiyawala, assistant manager for human resources, Futura Group.
“Most of the employees are part of car pools; even our peons use bicycles when heading to closer locations,” she said. JG Chaturvedi, executive directorasset manager at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said, “The company understands the importance of conservation since ONGC is involved in exploring and producing hydrocarbon. We encourage our workers to use public transport.“
 He added, “We have also arranged bus services and car pooling to help conserve fuel.” Meanwhile, lauding the initiative, Gayatri Dave who works with a bank near Ashram Road said, “If the postal department complies with this directive, not only will there be fuel conservation but it well help curb traffic flow for a day.” 
‘Bus Day’ is part of the Union government's nationwide campaign aimed at cutting oil demand. Declared by Petroleum Minister M .Veerappa  Moily in September 2013, employees will be required to use public transport once a week as part of this mega fuel conservation campaign. 
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