Govt mulls rescheduling office hours amid power crunch

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Office hours may be rescheduled with the introduction of a provision to work from home for certain days in order to save electricity.

Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury hinted this while briefing the media on the outcomes of a high-level meeting of the top officials of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and its subordinate bodies at the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday, reports UNB. 

“We’ll recommend to the government to reschedule the office timing from 9 am to 3 pm and also allow officials to work from home for two or three days a week”, he told reporters.

The Cabinet Division will take the final decision, he added, saying that the Education Ministry will take decisions about educational institutions.

He also announced a series of austerity measures that the meeting would recommend implementing like limited use of air conditions in offices, markets and mosques and keeping the level of coolness at 25 degrees celsius and strictly following the market closing time at 8 pm after the Eid as part of the demand management in electricity consumption.

The wedding ceremony has to be completed within an hour from 7 to 8 pm as part of the management.

The PM’s energy advisor convened the meeting against the backdrop of growing load shedding and gas shortages across the country.

He said everybody has to carry out social responsibility like that during the Covid period. “Now Covid is again growing and everybody has to be responsible as we are passing through a war-like situation due to the Russia-Ukraine war”.

The advisor said if such actions are implemented, the daily load shedding will be possible to keep within 500 MW.

He also noted that the prime minister has asked the officials to follow an equitable policy in implementing the load shedding management so that people in rural and urban areas get power cuts on an equitable basis.

“We will go back to an old practice of following a booklet that was designed to resort to load shedding in a rational way”, he said.

He said the situation will hopefully improve from September next when some coal-based power plants including Rampal, Payra will start operation and 1600 MW import from India will start coming to the country.

Responding to a question Tawfiq Elahi refuted an allegation that the government had put priority on the import of gas instead of extracting local gas which led to the current crisis.

Senior secretary of the Energy Division Mahbub Hossain and Power Secretary Habibur Rahman were present during the briefing.