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Updated: January 6, 2014 00:48 IST

‘Two time zones will create chaos’

Divya Gandhi
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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.

A&N Islands which lie closer to Thailand and Indonesia than the Indian
mainland should have its time aligned with Thailand.

from:  Vinod
Posted on: Jan 7, 2014 at 13:16 IST

Instead of having multi time zones, just for the fear of little chaos,
thinking of advancing the IST by half an hour, is an absolute
nonsense. The researchers have only few states in mind, and not the
whole country. The states in westernmost past like Maharashtra,
specially Mumbai, is already suffering due to the single time zone
which is already one hour ahead of IST. And because of this, the
population is up and running just at the sunrise which is at 0715 hrs
in winter in Mumbai, with late sunset at 1915hrs. in summer. The
majority population is already stressed although this result in more
production resulting in fledgling economy. Advancing he clock by
further half an hour will only increase the stress level of general
population in this part of country, where it is said the life is in
fast lane, and no one has the time for other, family as well as for
himself, with general neglect of his own physical, emotional and
spiritual needs.

Posted on: Jan 7, 2014 at 12:20 IST

Why dont people understand the basic difference between Dual time zone and day-light saving!! They are entirely two different things. Time zones are only based on the longitude of a particular point on the earth! It has nothing to do with the latitude. DST comes in picture for countries on latitudes near the poles, where they experience different duration of day times.
This article only talks of dual-time zones. For example north-eastern states are actually placed east to Bangladesh and are still 30 minutes later to Bangladesh time. And that makes no sense. To give it an example, how does it look like whole Mumbai goes to office at 11 am instead of 9 am and comes back home at 7 pm instead of at 5 pm. So, you have all peak traffic till midnight!! Sounds ridiculous right? And making two timezones make people work along with the Sun and not with the nation. People are alert in the morning. I can't imagine Dual time zones will in anyway come in the path of nationhood as some people say!

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 20:54 IST

I have never understood the concept of time zones and 'daylight saving adjustments'. The clock is relative and exists in the current form for historic reasons. Theoretically, nothing stops humans from treating current 6 am for eg., as 0000 hours.

If the intent is to make productive use of day time, wouldn't it be as simple as advancing office and school timings in the NE by an hour without changing IST? Thus if govt offices open at say 10 am in central India, they could open at 9 am in say, the NE. This would be equivalent to advancing the clock by an hour in the NE.

from:  Raja
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 20:23 IST

I do not know whether lights will be put on as per the sunset or when the Clock beats 6 PM. America has 4 or 5 time zones and so we must have at least two. That is probably the logic. Of course I do not see the advantage, if any.

from:  M.V.Joga Rao
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 19:54 IST

Much more 2.7 billon unit is consumption of small city like noida for one month.
There is very less benefit from such proposal . Infact it will create chaos , in railway
operation, communication etc. This is a outdated concept , most of office in metros
operate 24*7 which will definitely need electricity. This is really scrap.

from:  bhor
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 19:44 IST

Dont compare India with Australia and Russia. Countries which are closer to poles have longer days in Summer and shorter days in winter. Closer to Equator this difference is minimal. The findings of research paper are right. It is better to advance the time by 30 mins rather than have two time zones. People in India are the laziest when it comes to starting work early. Another way of improving productivity and reducing electricity consumption is to have scattered working hours for schools, offices and other institutions. That will reduce the peak power load. This will also reduce peak hour traffic congestion...

from:  victor
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 16:17 IST

I understand government concerns regarding electricity consumption,
but what about the issue of having adequate time to get work done? As
I understand it, terrain in the North-East isn't exactly easily
accessible all the time. And the IST was at odds with the sunrises and
sunsets happening there. Factor into that security concerns, the
amount of work getting done in offices might have been minimal. So I
think a dual time zone might actually economically benefit people
there; if nothing else, government and private offices will have more
man hours to get more work done. Setting travelers clocks back and re-
arranging train schedules is a small price to pay for the betterment
of an entire region.

from:  Renjini
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 14:15 IST

In Western countries and including Australia, they adjust for daylight
savings, twice each year and life goes on. Some people may have missed
their flights and some may have missed appointments but nobody died
and there is no chaos. Such exaggerated fears are second nature to
people who resist changes and want a status quo in life.

Most countries in the world follow round adjustments, it's only India
and few insignificant players that chose to sit on a fraction like 5h
and 30 m and so on. India should have two time zones, one will be GMT
+ 5 and other GMT +6.

from:  Mahesh S
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:31 IST

Changing the clock is no hard work against the benefits we will get. US and many other countries follow daylight savings and they get boost in electricity saving and productivity. This is a long standing issue and should be addressed as soon as possible for the interest of Indian Economy. People will learn to live with it in no time.

from:  Himanshu
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 08:17 IST

Sun does not stop or respect state boundaries, so it is logical to advance the clock, there should not be any nationalization of clock called IST. Biological clock of Assamese were tricked all these years and it is time it be corrected.
If this will cause Chaos, so it be, India is already known for being chaotic. Atleast this CM things about masses in his state.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 08:00 IST

The agruments are superficial. No "chaos" has been explained. All large (mostly in breadth) countries such as Russia, US, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, etc., but for China have more than one time zone. In Indonesia where many islands and thousands of villages do not have electricty, (which has high illiteracy too)there are three time zones. Even in China, there are demands to have multiple time zones. Having two time zones for India has much more advantages than just saving electricity. Of course, there is huge quantity of savings in electricity and associated carbon dioxide emissions. People in Eastern part of country including Andaman and Nicobar islands waste their more productive time (around 9 am geographical time) at home and go to office in the late morning hours just to be in line with IST. The benefits of two time zones -one across Bihar and the other across Nashik are quite high as compared to initial confusions and adjustments. I am stopping because of no space ..

from:  IlangoBharathi
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 07:39 IST

Any change will be difficult for sometime but people get accustomed to it. A country as big as US has 6 time zones and no chaos is seen there. In addition, they have Day light savings time as well but no chaos as well.

We have to see the benefits and not fool public by telling it would be chaotic...etc. Even the educated doing such propaganda is misplaced. Moving the time zone ahead by half an hour will cause power problems for Gujarat and Western India.

Having multiple time zones is indeed beneficial and we should go for it.

from:  vijay
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 06:46 IST

I donot think so, it will affect any one. We need to study how the
developed nations like USA is working , we have 5-6 time zones also, it
will change twice a year based on the day light savings in March and
November. Nothing is there to invent the wheel, we need to study, I hope
we will tackle this. We need people to do proper research and apply this

from:  kiran
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 05:55 IST

Its time to look for options to generate power & conserve the utilization
1. Along with Solar power, government can encourage people by providing subsidy for domestic wind mills to fulfil home needs
2. If we automate all the toll gates across india, the time commuters spent in toll gates and fuel consumption will go down. e-toll gates are working in Dubai, implemented by one of the indian based IT company
3. Automobiles to be encouraged to come up with electric vehicles
4. Automobiles to be encourages to come up with solar roofs which will save more than 30% of fuel consumption throughout the year
5. If we deploy wind mills on the coastal areas of india, excess power can be produced. The same model is working in Denmark

from:  Aadhavan
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 03:25 IST
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