IEP Chandigarh, May 2
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday said that ‘dawn of new era’ has taken place in the state with the unprecedented pro-people initiative of changing office hours which will save 350 Megawatts (MW) of power daily and around Rs 40-45 crore from May 2-to July 15. “Apart from facilitating the people, the landmark move will also help in enhancing the efficiency of the government employees, asserted the Chief Minister while interacting with the media persons here at the committee room in the Punjab Civil Secretariat I. The Chief Minister, who set the example by arriving in his office at 7:28 am, said that this decision has been taken after taking the consent of the majority of the stakeholders in a series of deliberations. He said that this decision will act as a catalyst in saving the people from scorching heat that is expected to be witnessed in the coming months. Bhagwant Mann said that though the tradition of setting watches in accordance with change of weather has been a routine feature in many western nations but in India this historic initiative has been taken for the first time. Dwelling more details, the Chief Minister said that it will enable a common man to do his work early in the morning without taking leave from his work. Likewise, he said that this will also facilitate the employees as they will be able to attend the social functions after the office hours. Similarly, Bhagwant Mann said that the employees will also be able to spend more time with their children who will also come home at the same time. The Chief Minister said that this decision is likely to save 350 MW of power daily in government offices thereby curtailing the power expenditure of the government offices considerably. He said that as per statistics of the POWERCOM 1:30 pm to 4 pm is the peak hour of the power usage but as now the offices will be closed at 2 pm so it will help in cutting power usage. Bhagwant Mann said that on an average Rs 16- Rs 17 crore will be saved every month adding that from May 2- July 15, the state government is expected to save Rs 40- Rs 42 crore. The Chief Minister said that the new time table will also ensure that maximum sunlight is utilized in the government offices. He said that after July 15 the decision will be reviewed after taking feedback from all the stakeholders, especially the common man. Bhagwant Mann assured the people that the state government will take more such citizen centric decisions in the coming days too for which advance planning has already been done. The Chief Minister said that not only power but it will also help in managing the traffic movement efficiently. He said that many other states have been enquiring about this step and it is likely to be replicated in other states too. Bhagwant Mann envisioned that in big cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and others such steps can help in streamlining the traffic chaos thereby giving much needed respite to common man. The Chief Minister categorically said that there is no dearth of power in the state as abundance of electricity is being generated to cater to needs of all the sectors whether it is agriculture, domestic or industry. Citing an example, he said that the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant at Ropar has coal for 35 days instead of earlier when the threat of darkness loomed large due to acute shortage of coal in the state. Quipping on statement of Haryana Power Minister for his baseless and irrational statement regarding power in state, Bhagwant Mann advised him to refrain from putting his nose in affairs of Punjab and focus on his own state. On the occasion Additional Chief Secretary to CM A Venuprasad, Special Principal Secretary to CM Ravi Bhagat and others were also present.
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