The government of India is considering to create two time zones because of the difference of two hours between the east and west of the country. Indian government has said it was “pro-actively” considering the matter of the country having two separate time zones.
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member Bhartruhari Mahtab, who highlighted that there was a gap of nearly two hours in the sunrise timings between the eastern and the western parts of the country.
Indian boundaries span about 3,000 km from east to west. What happens due to this is that the East, particularly the Northeast, experiences early sunrise and consequently early sunsets. By the time the sun rises in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (around 6 am), it feels like 7 am in Imphal, Manipur. Similarly, when it’s about dusk in Jaisalmer, Imphal would already be pitch-dark. That’s the contrast. No wonder there have been demands to have a separate time zone.
“Sun rises at 4:00am in Arunachal Pradesh while offices open at 10:00am The Ministry of Science and Technology has also done a study on this in the past,” Mahtab said. He said some 2.7 billion units of electricity could be saved if there are two separate time zones and added that only the Centre can take a call on office timings.
In 2003, the Ministry of Science and Technology had prepared a report on the amount of energy the country would save if two separate time zones were introduced.
A senior scientist with the ministry, on the condition of anonymity, said the report stated that there would be no significant saving of energy if the country followed two separate time zones.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government had taken Mahtab’s suggestion “very seriously”. “He has raised a very important and sensitive matter. The government is pro-actively considering the issue,” he said.