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‘Two time zones will create chaos’

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Turn the clock forward by 30 minutes countrywide to save 2.7 billion units of electricity, say scientists

A dual time zone in India, which will be set in place if Assam turns its clock forward by an hour, will not only create “unimaginable chaos” in a country of India’s demographic size, but also barely meet its intended goal of saving energy, say authors of a new research paper that examines the merits of resetting the Indian Standard Time (IST).

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently announced his decision to reset the clock in the State an hour ahead of IST to save energy and increase productivity. But “all States in the country stand to save electricity were IST to be advanced” — by 30 minutes — writes D.P. Sen Gupta, visiting professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), and his colleagues, in the forthcoming edition of Current Science, the popular fortnightly science journal published by the Indian Academy of Science.

India would save 2.7 billion units of electricity every year by shifting the IST meridian eastward (from 82.5E longitude in Uttar Pradesh to 90E near the Assam-Bengal border), calculate the authors.

Prof. Sen Gupta tells The Hindu that by setting two time zones or introducing “daylight saving” schedules, India stands to gain little, and could in fact suffer from negative energy saving. Prof. Sen Gupta and his colleagues calculated the energy saving potentials of several scenarios.

The paper calculates the savings State-wise: 0.49 per cent of total energy consumption in Karnataka, 0.21 in Tamil Nadu, 0.28 in Andhra Pradesh, 0.64 in West Bengal and 0.68 in Madhya Pradesh.

“This would amount to a critical saving in energy for a country where 350 million people out of the total 1,200 million population still have no access to electricity and use kerosene lamps at night.” Prof Sen Gupta told The Hindu. “By making a one-time change to time, not only are people saved the trouble of changing clocks every time they cross a zonal boundary, it would also prevent chaos that could arise ... for instance, in manually operated railway lines,” he added.

For the study, the authors analysed thousands of daily power load curves that usually have two peaks — one in the morning and another in the evening.

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Printable version | May 25, 2017 12:05:15 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-time-zones-will-create-chaos/article5542261.ece