Choked by smog, Thai ambassador seeks ‘hardship post’ tag for Delhi

The Royal Thai embassy has sought the “hardship post” tag on staff appointments in New Delhi after the severe spike in the city’s pollution levels over the past week.

Published: 16th November 2017 09:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2017 09:33 AM   |  A+A-

A traffic policeman wearing an anti-pollution mask mans traffic amid smog and air pollution in New Delhi. | PTI Photo

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Royal Thai embassy has sought the “hardship post” tag on staff appointments in New Delhi after the severe spike in the city’s pollution levels over the past week.

Chutintorn Gongsakdi, the smog-spooked Thai ambassador to India, last week sent a formal communication to Bangkok, seeking additional incentives and compensation for staff posted here. A reply is awaited.

The worst air quality index (AQI) in the capital was recorded on November 9 when it touched 999 at RK Puram, which is adjacent to Chanakyapuri that houses most embassies. The highest AQI level that monitoring censors can read is 999.

Gongsakdi told Express embassies were seeking help from their own governments to avoid piling pressure on the Indian government as it grapples with soaring pollution levels.

“The diplomatic community does not want to put additional pressure on the municipal or Central governments. They already know there is a problem. The efforts of embassies are to seek additional measures from our own governments,” he said.

Explaining what a “hardship post” classification implies, the ambassador continued: “Hardship post classification for New Delhi would mean we can access better staff welfare measures, such as air purifiers, medical check-ups, trips back home, and additional days off for morale and as compensation.”

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