Govt employees shorten their duty timings, blame GPO Chowk closure


LAHORE: Many government offices situated near Mall Road are facing problems in completing official matters as employees working there have shortened their duty timings while making excuses of the closure of road at the General Post Office (GPO) Chowk, Pakistan Today learnt on Thursday.

Due to this reluctance of the government employees, not only the official matters are being badly affected, but thousands of visitors at the offices from across the province are also facing problems.

The GPO Chowk has been closed for traffic due to the ongoing construction work of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project, and a number of important government offices are located alongside and nearby the OLMT route.

The offices include the General Post Office, Aiwan-e-Auqaf, office of the Federal Board of Revenue, the Customs House, Accountant General’s office, the Civil Secretariat, the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan, Provincial Ombudsman’s office, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) office, the Town Hall and the office of Punjab Irrigation Department. The buildings of the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court Registry are also located on the OLMT route.

An official at the Civil Secretariat told Pakistan Today that among those who come to work late on a daily basis a majority is of those who make the excuse of the GPO Chowk being closed for traffic. He said that they not only reach late, but also leave work early while excusing that they will have to suffer a lot on their way back home.

The official said that owing to the tactic, thousands of daily visitors who come from far-flung areas of the province were suffering the most.

“No official relaxation has been announced regarding the duty timings. Employees have been availing this opportunity on their own,” he said while adding that when the employees of the Lahore High Court, Supreme Court registry and educational institutes can reach on time then why is the closure of the road a problem for others.

Besides the Civil Secretariat, the same situation can be observed in other offices. During a visit to the Punjab Irrigation Department, it was observed that many staffers including officers were missing from their offices while a number of visitors were present to get their matters resolved.

A visitor in the department told Pakistan Today that he was visiting for the second time as previously he was informed by the staff that the concerned officer was not present as he could not reach the office due to the closure of GPO Chowk.

Sources informed that this has become a routine for the employees of the department ever since the construction work started on Mall Road. He said that a few concerned officials had verbally told the employees to manage their routine, however, he said that due to this excuse of the employees a lot of work has gone in pendency.

On the other hand, it has also been observed that the students and employees of the educational institutes located near the affected routes reach on time.