It will be one hour ahead of IST

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday said his government was contemplating the introduction of local time for the State, which would be one hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time.

Mr. Gogoi told journalists during an interaction on New Year’s Day that local time would help the State save energy as the working hours would be advanced by an hour to make use of the daylight. Besides, everyone remained energetic in the early hours.

The Chief Minister also said that most of the tea gardens still followed the practice of early working hours.

Bidyananda Barkakoty, Chairman, North Eastern Tea Association (NETA), told The Hindu that till the early 1990s, tea gardens in Assam followed “Garden Time” which was set by advancing the clock by one hour ahead of the IST. “The Garden Time” was introduced by British tea planters to capitalise on daylight. The system was no longer in practice.

But still the garden work starts 7 o’ clock in the morning but follows the IST time. When tea garden followed the Garden Time, the invitation cards for meetings and club functions mentioned the IST so that it was not confused with the Garden Time.”

It was for the seven north-eastern States. He has been trying for the past three years to create awareness on the usefulness of a separate time zone.

Mr. Barua made a detailed presentation saying that by following the IST, the northeast had suffered colossal losses in the last 65 years

He pointed out that despite the two-hour time lag in sunrise between the eastern most and the western most corners, the country continued to follow a single, undifferentiated time zone.

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