Delhiites joined the country in large numbers on Saturday to switch off lights from 8.30 pm for one hour in solidarity of Earth Hour 2010, a global campaign of individual action for climate change.
Scores of illuminated heritage monuments saw lights dimming, big shopping complexes maintained essential lightings and several government buildings totally switched off the lights.
Last year, the first time the capital participated in the event, there was a saving of over 600 MW on that day.
The initial figures released by BSES, the power discom, showed the load reduction in its area on account of Earth Hour to be 165 MW, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd 96 MW and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd 69 MW.
At the venue of the main event in the city — India Gate lawns — the nice evening breeze made a perfect ambience for switching off.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit — Delhi government and Hindustan Times were the official partners for the event organised by World Wide Fund (WWF) India in the country —was present.
Although dazzling, the organizers said, the event consumed only 50 KW of energy instead of routine 200 KW it would otherwise for a similar event.
“I am sure every citizen of Delhi is aware. It is important to send a message to rest of the country. It is our bounden duty … a sanctimonious duty to contribute in our little way,” Dikshit said as she and Ravi Singh, secretary general and CEO of WWF India, pulled off a switch that dimmed the brightly illuminated India Gate monument.
The evening saw scintillating performance by classical dance diva Padmashree Shovana Narayan and her troupe entitled ‘An Ode to the Light’. Minutes after the lights were switched off, members of Indian Ocean band performed ‘Sounds of Contemporary India’.
Earlier, actor and anchor for the evening Tom Alter set the mood for the event by espousing lines of an Urdu couplet — Kholo Toh Sahi Nazaron Ke Dar … “It is time to open the doors and the windows of our vision,” he exhorted.
What: A WWF initiative conducted across the globe since March 2007, wherein individuals, businesses and governments turn out their non-essential lights for one hour to show their support for action on climate change.
Why: The larger message is about energy conservation, not just during the Earth Hour but around the clock. Globally in 2009, the Earth Hour saw participation of 4,159 cities, including 73 national capitals, across 88 countries.