Will IPL-mania kill the mission to save planet Earth from global warming on Saturday?
Two days prior to Earth Hour 2010, this question is doing the rounds as the city gears up to turn off lights on Saturday, March 27, so that the planet gets an hour’s breather from greenhouse gas emissions that occur due to the generation of (mainly thermal) power.
On March 27, Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders are taking on Preity Zinta’s King’s XI Punjab, starting 8 p.m.
That’s just 30 minutes prior to the start of Earth Hour at 8.30 p.m.
So, even if the lights are turned off, the millions of TV sets might spoil Earth Hour’s party.
Realising this, the proponent of Earth Hour, the World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF-India), is trying to get the IPL to make a symboliccontribution during the match.
"We are speaking with the IPL authorities regarding this. It would be great if they are on board," said Aarti Khosla, spokesperson, World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF-India).
"We are also appealing to people to not have lights or other non-essential guzzlers of electricity on, even if
they DO watch the match on TV during the Earth Hour."
Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru are the official Earth Hour cities in India, among the 12 big cities leading the charge globally.
The Delhi government and Hindustan Times are its official partners in India.
As far as Delhi is concerned, power distributing companies, along with the government, are ready with a plan.
Last Earth Hour, Delhi saved around 600 mw. This time, the government is aiming to top that.
"We have held meetings with the labour department, New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), market and traders’ associations, malls, hotels etc to get everyone on board," said Delhi Environment Secretary Dharmendra Kumar.
Discom BSES has sent Earth Hour messages in its newsletter, copies of which, pinned with the power bills, go to its 25 lakh consumers across Delhi.
Its Tata-controlled counterpart North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) has tied up with resident welfare associations and around two lakh students to spread the word.
Power consumers in BSES areas will also receive automated voice messages and bulk mails urging them to take part in the initiative.
"We should all strive for the day when we will not need an Earth Hour to heal the planet", says Gopal Saxena, CEO,
BSES Rajdhani, Delhi’s biggest power distributor.
A freak thunderstorm with rainfall during last year’s Earth Hour was also a reason why power consumption saw a dip. This year, however, the weatherman has not sounded out any such good news.
"This Earth Hour, we hope Delhiites will make up for the absence of favourable weather for saving power," Kumar said.
Now, if only IPL could chip in too.