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Pakistan orders government departments to switch off AC

Public building crackdown in bid to avoid power outages and to save money

The Pakistan government has banned the use of air conditioners in its offices from May 15 and introduced a “summer dress code” for employees, across all government departments and offices.

Khoso directed authorities to introduce a new dress code for government employees to help them cope with the lack of air conditioning.

As a special concession, government employees will be allowed to come to work in “shoes without laces” or “sandals without socks”, the government statement said.

The ban on air conditioners will come into force on May 15 and continue till “there is substantial improvement in the energy situation”. The Prime Minister’s House has already stopped using air conditioners as part of an austerity and conservation drive.

“The measure reflects the resolve of the government to manage the power crisis by management of demand,” the statement said.

Authorities were given seven days to implement the ban.

The state government hopes that provincial governments, private institutions and the people would cooperate with the bid for energy conservation.

Power outages have increased across Pakistan with the steady rise in summer temperatures.

There are eight hours of power cuts in some cities, while many rural areas go without electricity for upto 18 hours a day, local press reported.

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