An acute shortage of power across the state has forced the Punjab government to announce a change in timings of all government offices effective August 1.
The government also ordered a complete ban on the use of air-conditioners in all government offices, boards and corporations in the state with immediate effect.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the chief secretary to issue detailed instructions to the district administrations in this regard, to ensure necessary steps to curtail power consumption during the power crisis.
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"To cope with the acute power shortage due to deficient rainfall during the monsoon in the state, the Punjab government decided to change the office timings from 8 am to 2 pm without lunch break in all the government offices, boards and corporations across the state till further orders with effect from August 1, 2012," a spokesman of the chief minister's office said here.
Punjab has reported 65 per cent deficit rainfall this year. With power generation hitting a low, power cuts ranging from eight to 15 hours are common at various places.
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"All the districts heads of offices would be solely responsible for ensuring strict compliance of these instructions. These would also be applicable to the camp offices of divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners and SSPs (senior superintendents of police) besides the commissioners of municipal corporations," the spokesman said.
Supply of drinking water would be ensured at the door steps of residents in cities and the towns through water tankers in view of acute water shortage, he added.
With inputs from IANS