The study suggests that implementation of a two time zone system could save around 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually
India’s official time keeper has come out with a scientific study suggesting that the country could have two time zones, which will help north-eastern states increase productivity, according to a report by the Hindustan Times.
The Delhi-based CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL)’s scientific paper examines the feasibility of having a second time zone for the north-eastern states which will be one hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time (IST), or 6.30 hours ahead the Universal Time Coordinated (UCT).
Currently, all states and union territories follow IST which is 5.30 hours ahead of UCT.
Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, besides the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, will run one hour ahead of IST, as per the suggestion.
According to the scientific paper, titled 'Necessity of ‘two time zones: IST-I (UTC +5:30 h) and IST-II (UTC +6:30 h)’, the shift in time zone could save daylight hours.
Sunrise and sunset in the north-eastern states happens earlier that the rest of the country, which results in a loss of working hours. Hence, in winter, as the daylight shrinks, it leads to loss of productivity and higher consumption of electricity.
The report, citing the study, suggests that by implementing a two time zone system around 20 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity can be saved annually.
"This is a scientific paper where we have examined whether having two time zones is feasible for India and how it can be implemented. Just like previous research on the subject, we found that having a UTC plus six-and-a half-hour time zone will increase the productivity in Port Blair and the six eastern states, barring Assam," Dinesh K Aswal, Director, NPL, told the newspaper.
In 2014, Assam had decided to unofficially follow the ‘chaibagaan’ or ‘baagaan’ time followed by tea estates. The tea estates is a daylight-adjusted time set one hour ahead of IST.
The Gauhati High Court had in 2017 quashed a plea seeking a separate time zone for the northeast. The same year, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu reiterated the demand for a separate time zone to increase productivity.India was divided into the Bombay and Calcutta time zones during the British rule. The IST was established on September 1, 1947, and was set along the local time near Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh.