12-hr shift may come down to nine

National Vigilance Centre monitors have revealed that newly introduced 12-hour shift in government offices has failed to provide urgent services to the general public.

During its two-week onsite monitoring of the Valley-based government offices that open at 6:00am, NVC has found that officials at some of the offices had to wait till 9:00am for the first visitor, while other offices failed to provide prompt services due to lack of necessary infrastructure and facilities.

NVC that falls directly under the Office of the Prime Minister has suggested that it would be more practical if offices function from 8:00am to 5:00pm during winters and 7:00am to 5:00pm or 6:00 pm during the summer season.

Monitoring teams found that land revenue, survey and district administration offices in the Valley received no service seekers till 9:00am, while foreign employment, passport and transport management offices could not manage crowd due to lack of basic facilities, National Vigilance Centre Chief Ramesh Kumar Sharma told THT.

“Service providers in a few offices have been facing tough time due to lack of transport and electricity. On top of that service seekers don’t turn up for hours,” he said referring to the findings of NVC’s field inspection monitors.

According to him, officials who worked late at revenue or transport offices complained that at times no bank is open to deposit the day’s earnings, giving them sleepless nights with all the cash lying in office.

Service seekers feel that extra hours have not made any difference in foreign employment, transport and passport departments that receive high turnout of visitors daily, as neither additional facilities have been introduced nor has the mentality of the staff changed, members of the monitoring teams told this daily.

Service providers complained to the inspection staff of NVC that they were working without additional perks or facilities and on top of that during load-shedding hours they had to rely on mobile phones or torch lights.

“NVC will submit its monitoring report to the chief secretary and the prime minister in a day or two, recommending changes in the existing working hours,” Sharma told this daily, expressing hope that the government will revise office hours from January 15.

On December 16, district administration, land revenue, transport, electricity and land survey and reform offices introduced 12-hour shift in Morang, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Rupandehi, Banke and Kailali districts.

Source: THT