The diplomatic community in India is concerned over the dangerous pollution level in the national capital which has affected diplomats and other employees of many Delhi-based foreign missions.
It is learnt that Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in India Ambassador Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, who is from the Dominican Republic, will be holding a meeting with other heads of missions and diplomats in a day or two to discuss the air pollution in the city which has impacted the functioning of the missions.
Diplomatic sources said Castellanos would receive suggestions on matters that he would take up with representatives of the Indian Government, including officials of the External Affairs Ministry, on behalf of the diplomatic corps.
The Dean was expected to propose to the Indian authorities the best practices and solutions that would benefit not only members of the diplomatic community but also other residents of the Indian capital, sources added.
Some of the diplomats, who did not wish to be identified, said the employees of foreign missions in Delhi suffer as much as residents of the Indian capital due to pollution and there was a need for the authorities to deal with the problem on a war-footing.
One diplomat said, “We are all concerned about our health and that of our staff and their families. The general sense is that more can be done to avoid this yearly phenomenon.” An envoy, who recently began his tenure in Delhi, said, “This is my first time to experience this! Really severe!”
The envoy of a South-East Asian country said the odd-even scheme for four-wheeled vehicles, though a laudable step to check pollution, has added to the woes of the foreign missions. Many local employees did not report for duty today because of the pollution level or the odd-even scheme, he added. The envoy hoped embassy vehicles would be kept out of the purview of the odd-even scheme.