Wednesday, 19 June, 2024

Offices resuming services from today


By Purushottam P Khatri

Kathmandu, June 15: All government and private offices are resuming their operation from June 15 after the government relaxed the nationwide lockdown in 83 days.
According to Joint Secretary Basanta Adhikari at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, all types of offices will open from Monday maintaining preventive health security measures based on the protocol designed by the offices themselves.
The government has already notified that the offices will run in two shifts from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and the second shift from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The total working hours will be 10, he said.
According to Adhikari, in each shift only half the staff members will have to attend the office as per the routine and necessary arrangements made by the offices themselves.
Even on Friday, the government offices should deliver their service till 6:00 pm from the morning, he said.
However, the respective office chiefs or departmental heads are given authority either to reduce or extend the working hours as per the work load, he said. Offices like land registration, citizenship certificate, passport, driving license, tax, and the company registration will all resume their services from Monday.
According to Adhikari, most government offices on Saturday issued their protocols regarding safety measures while delivering services to the public and the conditions that the service seekers had to abide by while visiting the offices.
Separate protocols are designed as per the nature of offices and the services they deliver to the public.
Some of the major protocols include -- not allowing in service seekers and staff members having their body temperature above 100.4 degrees in Fahrenheit, arrangement of hand washing and sanitisation in front of the office premises, separate counters in offices where public flow remains high with compulsory PPE to the front desk officials, and establishment of communication with security officials if any staff or service seeker falls sick during the office hours.
Inside the office, tables and chairs for the office employees should be arranged at a distance of at least one metre, mask and surgical gloves worn bcompulsorily and a rope fastened to maintain a gap between the staff and service seekers in particular office counters. The other provisions include preventing anyone from meeting the office chief directly, and area marking system while staying in a queue for making payments or doing financial transactions in the government offices.
Furthermore, the respective offices can also implement a quota system for providing maximum service in a day to the service seekers by analaysing the flow of service seekers, according to Adhikari. Private offices, including the NGOs, should also apply the same nature of protocols while opening and resuming their services, he said.
"The most important thing is the government offices should encourage every service seeker to go online rather than directly visiting the offices," he said.
Meanwhile, Prakash Maharjan, one service seeker and resident of Chandragiri Municipality, said the general public would face a problem to reach the government offices as public vehicles remained out of operation, and the private vehicles were also restricted from carrying one or two persons.
Rajendra Lama, a permanent resident of Nagarjun Municipality who is a government staff of Nepal Telecom, said that some junior employees had to reach office early in the morning on foot if they lacked a personal vehicle as the office did not manage vehicles for junior employees like him.