The Indo-Pak World Twenty20 cricket match and lack of awareness marred the Earth Hour in Gurgaon on Saturday as the decline in power consumption halved this year compared to 2015.
Ironically, some residents could not observe the Earth Hour because of power cuts.
However, some residents switched off lights and watched the cricket match collectively on large LCD screens.
“The cricket match certainly took sheen out of the Earth Hour but many people observed it by watching the match collectively and switching off lights in houses. There is a lack of awareness and we are making efforts to spread awareness about its benefits,” Shubhra Puri, who runs the NGO Gurgaon First, said.
The comparative data of the electricity department says there was a decline in power consumption by 13 lakh units during the Earth Hour in 2015. This year, the decline was only 6.50 lakh units. However, the decline cannot be fully attributed to the Earth Hour as several areas plunged into darkness as supply snapped following the rain on Saturday evening.
Perturbed by frequent power cuts, several residents used the Earth Hour to vent their ire on social media.
“With due respect, why does an Indian city like Gurgaon need an Earth Hour? We have so many of these, every week,” a resident tweeted from the twitter handle @gurgaoncom. The supply was cut in several areas for about two hours after the rains.
Power consumption data showed there was a decline in usage by 6.50 lakh units on March 19. The recorded consumption in Gurgaon district on March 18 was 160.75 lakh units while on March 19 it was 154.25 lakh units.
“The Indo-Pak cricket match led to less number of people observing the Earth Hour. Further, there is also a lack of awareness among Gurgaon residents and we are working to increase it,” Sanjay Kumar Chugh, general secretary of Urja Samiti, an NGO working on power issues in Gurgaon, said.
Supporting the Earth Hour, superintending engineer (operations) of Dakshan Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Sanjeev Chopra said there is a need to generate more awareness among people about the event. He said power consumption declines during the hour but people should imbibe the habit of switching off lights when they are not used.