Bangladesh has decided to foray further into power-saving mode amid looming energy crisis. In this regard, the Cabinet Division has fixed office hours for all government, semi-government, autonomous and semi-autonomous institutions from 8am-3pm with effect from August 24 (Wednesday) to conserve energy.
It has also decided to cut back working hours at banks and extend all educational institutions’ weekly holiday to two days every week.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said the government offices and autonomous institutions will remain open from 8am to 3pm instead of the usual 9am to 5pm schedule.
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The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (August 22), he said. After the meeting, the cabinet secretary shared the details of the decision with the media.
As per the new decision, the country’s all scheduled banks will remain open from 9am to 4pm instead of the regular 10am to 6pm working hours.
Educational institutions given extended break
The country’s schools and all other educational institutions have also been given extended holidays to save electricity.
The cabinet secretary in this regard said the Ministry of Education will issue a notice soon.
According to him, these restrictions will continue indefinitely.
DSCC issues closing schedule for restaurants, cinema halls
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) also issued a set of directives on the same day regarding the closing times for commercial and recreational organisations in a frantic bid to rein in power consumption.
DSCC said restaurants and food shops must close by 10pm while other entertainment spots including movie theatres cannot remain open past 11pm.
The new schedule, it said, will come into effect starting from September 1.
According to the new notice, all shops, malls, markets and commercial units must be closed by 8pm as before.
Earlier on July 18, Bangladesh decided to halt production of all its diesel-run power plants, which provide some 2.79% of the country’s electricity, until further notice. The government also decided to keep fuel stations closed for a day every week in a frantic bid to conserve energy. On June 16, the government ordered all shops, malls, kitchen markets and other commercial units to shut at 8pm.
Closing times: At a glance
- All banks to close by 4pm
- Govt offices to close by 3pm
- Food delivery may continue till 11pm
- Restaurants, food shops must close kitchens at 10pm
- Movie theatres, other places of entertainment may remain open until 11pm
- Drug stores can stay open until midnight; medicine shops next to hospitals can operate until 2am