We believe saving electricity and energy is very important. But the reality has to be taken into consideration as well as it has to be seen whether it is actually saving energy or not. At present government office hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Many private offices remain open until seven in the evening. For those who live far from the office, they reach home late.
If the shop closes at 8:00pm at night, the time for office and markets closure will be similar. In such a situation, there is a risk of increasing traffic congestion. And increasing traffic congestion means increasing fuel costs in transportation. As a result, the initiative taken to close the shop by 8:00 pm may not work eventually.
We think it is very important to consider the overall situation in this case. It is important to ensure that business is not harmed, and that energy savings are actually ensured. The shop owners' association has proposed to open the market at 12 noon instead of 10:00 am and run it till 9:00 to 10:00 pm. In this way, shop workers and traders do not have to go to work during the busy office hour in the morning.
If the opening and closing hours of shops, shopping malls and markets can be separated from office hours, the traffic congestion can be eased a little. To alleviate the traffic congestion, there have been proposals from city planners to coordinate the opening and closing hours of offices and educational institutions.
It is necessary to consider how realistic the instructions are to close shops, shopping malls and markets as well as kitchen markets after 8:00 pm. People start shopping in the kitchen market before starting their work or after finishing their work. Restaurants and drug stores, as well as kitchen market as essential services, can be considered to remove the obligation of closing at 8:00pm.
The government has so far decided to close the shops and shopping malls to save energy. But the government should also think about other areas where fuel can be saved, including the use of government vehicles.
We hope in consultation with various stakeholders, including the business community, a better way will be paved for realistic and effective initiatives in this regard.