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EditorialPunjab’s soft energy conservation plan

Punjab’s soft energy conservation plan

The Punjab government has limited the timing for business activities in order to conserve energy. It has become imperative for Pakistan to use as little energy as possible because there is a great shortfall as of now. First, the Sindh government promulgated the order of closing down markets earlier than usual and now Punjab has also followed suit. Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz ordered these new timings with the approval of the business community which was present at a meeting where it was decided that markets will close at 9 pm, wedding halls at 10 pm and restaurants at 11:30 pm. Medical stores, however, will be allowed to remain open after 10 pm. Moreover, some relaxation may be given on weekends and before Eid. This Conservation drive is crucial for Pakistan currently as there is a great deficit of energy in the country. Most areas are facing long hours of load shedding and when coupled with the extreme weather conditions, it is becoming more and more difficult for people to survive.

Conserving energy in such a way is useful and it may lead to a reduction in load shedding, however, people also need to realise that using sunshine hours for shopping and dining out will help out the country. Most people, especially in urban centres have become accustomed to staying up late and so they dine out and go shopping at night. Now, this has to change if the problem of energy shortage is to be solved. People will have to rise early in the morning and do their chores during daylight hours so that businesses are also not affected due to these new timings. A culture of waking up late and starting the day afternoon has become a norm in Pakistani society. Many businesses also start their operation at noon and carry it on till late at night. This pattern is unhealthy and inefficient as many studies suggest that early risers are better off with respect to their health and their efficiency of work. Therefore, people must adopt a lifestyle which allows them to become early risers. This will not only improve their health but also help in conserving energy in Pakistan.

Earlier markets were closing at 10 pm and now they will close at 9 pm. The change is not drastic as the government has only reduced an hour of operation. However, it takes droplets to form an ocean and this wise decision of the government may prove to be beneficial for the energy-deficient country. However, the people will have to work on their routines and only go to markets and dine out before the sun sets. Pakistan must take inspiration from European countries and close markets at 6 pm so that a maximum amount of conservation may take place. However, such changes can only come with the support of people which is why people must become early risers and early sleepers so that the unhealthy culture of shopping and dining out late at night is eradicated from society. These changes together will allow for energy conservation and a better lifestyle for people as well.

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