Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bangladesh changes dress code to save power

Dhaka—The Bangladeshi prime minister has ordered public servants to ditch suits and ties for short-sleeved shirts to cut air-conditioning use in the power-starved nation. Sheikh Hasina first raised the idea at a cabinet meeting last month and asked her colleagues to set an example to other government employ-ees. “She told us to avoid suits and ties on hot days and to wear plain, simple shirts,” said communications minister Syed Abul Hossain. The prime minister pointed out that air conditioning is a luxury and if we wear the lighter clothing we will need to use the AC less. I’ve already noticed top public servants are no longer wearing suits and ties.” The official dress code for civil servants, written in 1982, was this week altered to accommodate Hasina’s instructions. Last month her government unveiled a six-billion-dollar power plant building programme to end a chronic energy shortage in Bangladesh’s fast-growing economy.The country of 144 million people has long suffered severe power outages due to demands imposed by its economy, which has been grow-ing at around six percent annually over the past five years. Shortfalls are especially acute in the hot summer months from April to October. The crisis also prompted the government to move clocks forward by an hour in June to make maximum use of daytime.—Agencies Source : Pakistan Observer

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