Though the government announced three-day holidays for Eidul Azha, yet most of the public servants availed nine holidays, including four weekly offs, as they preferred to be on leave on Monday and Tuesday, bringing the work at offices to a standstill.
A very thin attendance was witnessed at the Civil Secretariat and different government departments on Tuesday. Most of officials were not present in the Health Directorate.
When asked, the reply was that the officials had either left for hometowns or were in the markets to buy the sacrificial animals.
The provincial government had announced a three-day holiday for Eidul Azha from November 17 to 19. However, in most of the departments the officials took leave for November 15 and 16 thus they would avail seven days off in a row as on November 18 and 19 it is Saturday and Sunday.
In the Education Department, the situation was not different. The staff either took two days off before the announced date or just came to office to mark them present at the offices and then left for their villages and shopping for Eid.
When asked about the thin attendance of government officials from a health official who was luckily sitting in his office, he replied that though leaving the office without any intimation was not allowed, the trend was well ‘understood’ and ‘acceptable’ regardless of the consequences of loss of time and working days in the year.
An educationist said that educational institutions in the province were more at the losing end as they had had other ‘opportunities’ of closing schools and colleges, for weeks due to bad law and order situation and at times strikes by the students and teachers to press the government for acceptance of demands. “Education is sure to downslide further if the authorities concerned do not come up with seriousness of purpose,” he said.
Noor Muhammad, a government official, said that it had now become a tradition that people, particularly from far-off areas, had to leave a day or two earlier for their hometowns. He suggested that the government must give at least one day off before the religious festivity as people hailing from remote districts had to reach their hometowns well in time.
“How is it possible for a person hailing from Dera Ismail Khan to reach his hometown after attending the office till 4:00 pm in the evening just a day before the Eid?” he questioned.
( The Daily English TheNews Published on November 17, 2010 )