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One hour time leap for Bangladesh

world Updated: Jun 19, 2009 11:17 IST

IANS
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Bangladesh will set clocks forward by an hour on Friday, turning 11 pm into midnight, to better utilise daylight and save electricity.

"This means Bangladeshis would practically begin their work an hour earlier than usual. Many establishments that run till sundown would actually close before sundown and thus reduce pressure on power demands," The Daily Star newspaper said on the enforcement of a government decision taken last month.

Bangladesh joins several other countries across the globe in this energy saving measure. With the clock running an hour ahead, the country tonight becomes GMT+7 from GMT+6.

It will be a 103-day cycle beginning midnight Friday till Oct 1, when the clock will pulled back by an hour. The move will impact the day-to-day routine, especially in the cities.

Prayer times for Muslims would advance by an hour while timings of offices, schools and other institutions would remain unchanged. Shops and malls that traditionally remain open till 8 pm would now get one extra hour of daylight. These would now use less electricity.

However, there is yet to be an estimation of how much energy would be saved.

"It cannot be precisely forecasted how much energy can be saved by this measure but the energy ministry expects a five percent reduction in the national power demand, which would be equivalent to 200 MW of power during the evening peak hour of 7 pm to 8 pm," said the newspaper.

The country experiences between 1,000 MW and 2,000 MW of load shedding during peak hours daily as power demands swing from 4,800 MW to 5,800 MW against a supply of around 3,800 MW.

Bangladesh says it is short of power supply and is exploring various means, including nuclear power generation.

While building new power plants to minimise the crisis is a time-consuming affair, implementing austerity measures like replacing traditional light bulbs with power-saver lights can reduce the national power demand by 20 per cent and daylight saving can lower demand for another few hundred megawatts, said the newspaper.