Staff Reporter

Appeal to ad agencies did not seem to have had an effect

Lights at Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha

were switched off

Commercial establishments had their lights on

Bangalore: Pockets of the city opted to go without power for an hour on Saturday, joining scores of other cities across the world marking “Earth Hour”.

Over the past week, it seemed like there was an increasing response to “Earth Hour” in the city with public utilities such as Bescom and several IT companies pledging to participate. However, a walk down the Commercial Street and M.G. Road proved otherwise. Bescom’s appeals obviously fell on deaf ears, as advertising agencies had their hoardings glowing.

The otherwise well-lit Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha were plunged into darkness, though Raj Bhavan, High Court, Legislators’ Home and City Police Commissioner’s office remained extravagantly lit.

In their defence, commercial establishments said that in recessionary times, they could not afford to lose out on weekend business.

“Moreover, with Ugadi sales and discount offers, customers would surely get irked,” said Nagabhushan, supervisor of a retail chain.

Brigade Road on its part made quaint attempts to support the cause. Advertisement hoardings and signboards ran on dim mode, but the shops remained lit.

A majority of the malls in the city — Forum Mall, Big Bazaar, Inox, Garuda Mall — were running full blast. So was shopping on Residency Road, M.G. Road, Richmond Road, Kengal Hanumanthaiya Road and Hosur Road, where most people carried on like any other day.

Meanwhile, police personnel working in and around Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha had to be extra vigilant as lights had been turned off.

The police guarded the sensitive place with the help of torches. People who saw the pro-active initiative taken by these large power-consuming public buildings appreciated the gesture. “We should appreciate the Vidhana Soudha police,” said Shwetha Thimmaiah, a housewife at Vasanthnagar.

“Commercial establishments did not observe Earth Hour in the city. It was better if the State Government had made it compulsory for all commercial establishments to compulsorily switch off the lights. Observing Earth Hour for an hour is no big deal,” said Saakshi Raj, an employee of IIM. Saakshi and her friends, who are residing in Hegde Nagar shut down the power supply for an hour and also tried to create awareness among their friends through emails and SMS.