The Delhi government has proposed to hold an Earth Hour on the last working day of every month, urging residents to switch off non essential lights to save power on the lines of the recently held global campaign.
"The Earth Hour will continue. All lights in government buildings should be switched off at 8.30 pm on the last working day of the month for an hour," Delhi government's environment secretary JK Dadoo told IANS.
The proposal has been given the go-ahead by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Dadoo said.
"It is an important concept and we will get support from the people of Delhi just as we did for the global campaign," Dadoo added.
The move follows the success of the 60-minute Earth Hour global campaign against climate change March 28 in the capital.
According to officials, Delhi managed to save a whopping 10,000 MW of power. The rainy evening had also attributed to power cuts but a major chunk of the saving was thanks to Earth Hour.
The monthly affair could save up to 100 MW of power every month.
"Like what we had done for the March 28 campaign, we will communicate with 2,000 residents welfare associations (RWAs), with 2,000 students in school ecological clubs and market associations as well," Dadoo said.
In addition, the government also plans to advertise the monthly campaign and screen promotional videos in 50 cinema halls similar to the lines on which they promoted the global campaign.
"We have also asked the Archaeological Survey of India to switch off the lights at the national monuments like India Gate and Humayun Tomb during the time," Dadoo added.
So will it work?
"After the success of March 28, I think it is possible. Do not underestimate the will of 2,000 RWAs and thousands of people," Dadoo stressed.
The concept of the Earth Hour campaign was started in Australia in 2007.
This year's Earth Hour and climate change initiative by the World Wide Fund (WWF) saw 80 countries taking part in the community initiative to save energy.
Ravi Singh of the WWF-India lauded the Delhi government's proposal.
"The Delhi government's action shows that positive voluntary action by citizens can lead to good things for larger benefits for environment. Secondly, I am sure that if Delhi takes the lead then other cities and states are likely to follow and can be pursued," Singh said.
The global campaign to save energy emerged at a crucial time, months ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit. Singh said the government's role now is even more pressing than ever.
"The one billion people in India endorsed the Earth Hour campaign that says something significant about how the issue of climate is perceived here," Singh added.