[Assam] Multiple Time Zones in India

Dilip/Dil Deka dilipdeka at yahoo.com
Sun May 6 18:57:39 PDT 2007

Will it produce any positive results? Study is one thing and a logical decision is another.
  From the Indian Express.
  Front Page  PAGE 1 ANCHOR   IST not helping, North-East needs separate time zone to save power, says House panel
  Amitabh Sinha  Posted online: Monday, May 07, 2007 at 0000 hrs   
    NEW DELHI, MAY 6: Reopening the debate on the need for more than one time zone in India, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy has mentioned the proposal in the context of saving power consumption in North-Eastern states.   The logic behind the argument is that owing to early sunset in the North-East, lights have to be switched on in offices in the evening, leading to excess consumption of power. This can be avoided by advancing the clock by one or one-and-half hours so that offices close before sunset.   This has reopened an issue that seemed to have been settled long back when an expert committee had examined the proposal in a different context and recommended to the Department of Science and Technology that there was no need for a different time zone for the North-East.   “The committee had unanimously felt that the gains accruing out of having a different time zone were not proportionate to the practical problems and confusion that it could lead to,” said
 Dr Krishan Lal, the then director of the National Physical Laboratory and a member of the committee.   India’s width, from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, does make a case for having two time zones within the country. Russia has eleven time zones while the United States and Canada have six. However, China, which is much broader than India, sticks to only one time zone, the largest country to do so. The decision generally rests with the country itself taking into account its convenience and international conventions.   India currently follows a time, which is 5-1/2 hours ahead of the international standard, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The proposed new time zone would put the North-Eastern states six-hours ahead of GMT, at par with Bangladesh.   The demand for two time zones in India had first come from the North-Eastern states in the mid-Nineties with the reasoning that by the time people went for work, nearly half the day had already been lost because the sun rises in the
 region between 4.30 am and 5 am.   The government set up a committee to examine the issue in 2001 with the then Science and Technology Secretary V S Ramamurthy, Dr Krishan Lal and the then Chief Secretary of Tripura V Thulasidas — now the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Air India — as members.   The committee held a meeting with representatives of the North-Eastern states along with those of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa, which also fell in the proposed new time zone. The committee reasoned that the problem of the North-Eastern states could easily be solved by advancing the office timings by a couple of hours. 

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