National

Government rejects separate time zone for northeastern States citing strategic reasons

The sun rises over the Brahmaputra in Guwahati. By the time the working day begins in the northeastern States, the sun is already high in the sky and the heat is nearing its peak because clocks across the country are set to the same hour.

The sun rises over the Brahmaputra in Guwahati. By the time the working day begins in the northeastern States, the sun is already high in the sky and the heat is nearing its peak because clocks across the country are set to the same hour.   | Photo Credit: AFP

A panel, formed to examine having a separate time zone for the nortsheastern States, recommended against it for “strategic reasons”, the government informed the Lok Sabha on December 20. In a written response to a question on demands from the northeastern States for having a separate time zone, Union Science and Technology minister Harsh Vardhan said such requests have been made on the ground that sunrise and sunset timings in these parts are much earlier than official working hours.

“National Physical Laboratory (NPL) published certain reports in science journals on this issue, referring to saving of electricity,” Mr. Vardhan said. The matter was examined by a High Level Committee (HLC) comprising the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology and Chief Secretary of Tripura, he added.

However, in response to the question, there was no mention of when the panel was formed. “The HLC, after considering the issue, recommended not to have two time zones for India for strategic reasons,” he said. A senior official of the Ministry of Science and Technology said the panel was formed several years ago.

 

The demand for a separate time zone is not new. In 2017, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu demanded a separate time zone for northeastern States stating that several work hours are wasted as offices open late and sun rises early.

France has 12 time zones, while the U.S. has 11 and Australia has eight. Like India, China too has only a single time zone.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:03:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/government-rejects-separate-time-zone-for-northeastern-states-citing-strategic-reasons/article25789473.ece

Next Story