Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Implements New Office Timings
The Punjab government has implemented new duty timings from 7:30 am to 2 pm at its offices in an effort to reduce power consumption. The new timings, which came into effect on May 2, have been met with mixed reactions from the public and government employees in Ludhiana.
At the Ludhiana municipal corporation complex, zonal commissioner Jasdev Singh Sekhon was seen checking attendance at the front desk of Zone D office instead of sitting in his office. However, next to the Zone D office, the Sewa Kendra was closed, as the timings for these centers have not been changed, and they will continue to work on the 9 am-to-5 pm schedule.
The Sewa Kendras, which provide over 375 public services like issuing birth certificates, driving licenses, marriage certificates, and other works related to the revenue department, have different timings than government departments. Visitors to the Zone D office have suggested that the timings of government departments and Sewa Kendra should match with each other to ensure efficient service.
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At the Mini Secretariat located near Bharat Nagar Chowk, there were hardly any visitors, and the staff reported that people in Ludhiana were not used to these timings. While those with urgent work will come early, others will stick to the old timings. However, Ludhiana additional deputy commissioner (general), Rahul Chaba, urged residents to take advantage of the new timings, stating that the staff is at their disposal.
In the transport department, the corridors were vacant, except for one person sitting outside the office of the district transport officer. Officer Poonam Preet Kaur was not in her office as she was on field duty since 5 am. Meanwhile, in another hall related to traffic challans and driving license renewal, there were only four visitors. An advocate suggested that people would get used to the new timings for urgent work, while others would follow the old timings.
However, the staff has raised concerns that their superiors may summon them for late afternoon meetings that could stretch their day till 4 pm again. Employees suggest that officers should advance their body clock, and official meetings should end by 2 pm. During the 9-to-5 timing, many meetings used to stretch till 6 pm or 7 pm. So if the duty hour should wind up by 2 pm, then it should not be stretched any further if the motive is to save power.
Meanwhile, Transport Superintendent Mandeep Kaur is on the phone as she does not have to interact with the public till 9:30 am. The public dealing hours have been reduced to six-and-a-half hours instead of eight hours, and the employees need to learn to reach offices early. However, in the afternoon, traffic builds up on city roads, causing chaos on roads connecting the mini secretariat near Ishmeet Chowk, Model Town Extension, etc., due to vehicles of employees, school buses, and parents’ vehicles.
Rohit Kumar, a parent who got stuck in traffic for 30 minutes near Ishmeet Chowk after picking up his child, suggested that the first priority should be for school students. He recommended that there should be better traffic management, or the timings of schools and government offices should be revised so that there is at least a half-hour difference.
In conclusion, while the implementation of the new timings has been met with mixed reactions from the public and government employees in Ludhiana, it remains to be seen if these timings will prove effective in reducing power consumption and improving service efficiency.