ISLAMABAD, May 24: As the heat wave has been blanketing Islamabad for the past few days, government employees working in Shaheed-e-Millat Secretariat building near China Chowk Blue Area are worst hit by the warm temperature.
Power supply to the building was cut off four days back bringing most of the operations in government offices housed in the high-rise to a halt.
The offices of Ministry of Education, Interior, Ministry of Water and Power, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Overseas Pakistan Foundation (OPF), Port and Shipping, State office, the MS Wing of the Establishment Division, offices of the devolved Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Commission on Human Development and Income Tax, to mention a few, are housed in the 16-storey structure.
It felt like a pressure cooker, the higher people climbed. And it was not only the heat that kept some government employees out of their offices in the building but also the lack of will and effort to climb up to the 8th, 9th and even the 13th floor in some cases since the elevators were not functioning. A senior government employee, not willing to be quoted, said he had been postponing all his engagements since the power supply was cut four days ago.
“Climbing up to the 8th floor is too much pain for my knees. And the heat is oppressive,” he said. The Shaheed-e-Millat building owed Rs6.9 million including arrears in electricity bills to the Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (Iesco) until the month of May.
According to a senior officer in the Public Works Department (PWD), power supply cut to their buildings was a yearly problem.
Last year power supply to the Shaheed-e-Millat secretariat that came under PWD remained cut off for nearly 20 days. “It is not surprising because we had been writing to the high ups about the urgency to pay utility bills on time,” he explained.
Worst yet was that, the Iesco had also cut power supply to the headquarters of the Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak-PWD) in Sector G-9 that managed and ran the Shaheed-e-Millat building because of non-payments of electricity bills. But most offices of senior officials including that of the Director-General did not feel the heat to be as oppressive. Powerful generators kept the lights, fans and the air conditioning system working in the PWD headquarters.