India may be looking at another time zone in the near future, a move that could fulfill a long-standing demand.
A committee, chaired by the director-general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), is trying to examine the implications of another time zone in India.
“The committee will report on the energy savings that would result because of a number of interventions, of which another time zone for the country is a possibility,” Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, BEE, said. “The committee will submit its report to the power ministry within nine months,” he said.
Set up under the power ministry, BEE assists in developing policies with the aim of reducing energy intensity in the country.
“While another time zone is desirable, a lot of problems can crop up that have to be carefully examined. The magnitude of the task of setting up another time zone is enormous,” said Dr A.K. Bhatnagar, additional director general, India Meteorological Department, and a member of the panel.
A separate time zone for the northeastern and eastern parts has been a longstanding demand. The east-west spread of India extends for about 28 longitudinal degrees, accounting for about 2 hours as a result of which the sun rises two hours earlier in the eastern part of the country.
Filmmaker Jahnu Barua, at the forefront of this fight, said, “The issue is not only about power saving and increasing work productivity. It is also about adhering to the natural biological clock of human beings and it should be addressed as such.”