Amidst concerns over alarming pollution levels in the city, a Virtual Attendance at Work and School (VAWS) plan has been proposed by a laboratory of the Ministry of Science and Technology in which employees, especially from IT sector, and students can work from home. Under the VAWS plan, the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTAD), a laboratory of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, has proposed that one day in a week should be virtual attendance in school and work.
"Our proposal is that 2+1+2 working week in which the third day (Wednesday) will be a day of Virtual Attendance at Work and School (VAWS), with two regular working days before and after. "This would allow a spike in air pollution to subside during mid-week.
In addition to reducing air pollution, VAWS will have several other socio-economic benefits like energy saving at work/ school, reduction of travel related stress and health hazard, higher efficiency and improved quality life. VAWS is a viable alternative " NISTAD's Director P Goswami said. Speaking about the Odd Even Formula, Goswami said, restrictions have not worked in the past. "I am not suggesting anything against odd - Even formula, but I am only saying that restrictions have not worked in the past and the plan is more like a restriction and implementation is a problem.
"On the other hand VAWS can be done with a government directive," Goswami said, citing examples of Bogota and Mexico city where people have circumvented an Odd Even like plan and bought two cars, adding to the pollution. When asked whether suggestions regarding this were sent to the Delhi Chief Minister, Goswami said, "Yes, we have sent a copy to the Delhi Chief Minister, PMO and other concerned ministries." He, however, did not specify on when the suggestion was sent. Delhi government is working out a detailed plan to implement the odd even Formula, which will come into force from January 1 to 15 on a pilot basis.