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India
12 Jun 2017

Now, Arunachal Pradesh wants a separate time zone

A separate time zone for the northeast

Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu is the latest to join the 'separate time zone for the northeast' bandwagon.

"We get up as early as 4am," said the 37-year-old CM, India's youngest. "Several daylight hours are wasted as government offices open only at 10am and close at 4pm."

This comes after the Guwahati HC rejection a PIL for a separate time zone for the region.

In context

A separate time zone for the northeast
Separate time zone could save energy and money

Pros

Separate time zone could save energy and money

In terms of time, the northeast is closer to Dhaka than to Delhi. Around the summer solstice, sunrise happens at 4:15am, 90 minutes before the western side.

In winter, it sets as early as 5pm, leading to a waste of energy, money and workable hours.

A study by National Institute of Advanced Studies said a separate time zone could save 2.6bn units of electricity.

Alternatives

What could be done instead of one IST all over?

The most widely accepted alternative is 'chai bagan time': workers in tea gardens start work as early as 6am to utilize daylight optimally.

Many still follow their own time, though the IST is steadily taking over in some.

Another option is introducing Daylight Saving Time during April-September. Yet another proposed method is advancing IST itself by 30 minutes. All are intended to save energy.

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