Rama Krishna Sangem
India presently has only one time zone – Indian Standard Time (IST), 5.30 hours before the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) that passes through London, UK. This is causing problems to people of our country which is spread from Arunachal Pradesh in the east to Gujarat in the west. The US has 2 time zones, Russia 11 and France, the highest number – 12 time zones.
This IST passes through 5 states – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Ujjain, a city in Madhya Pradesh is called as Greenwich city of India as IST runs through it, on the longitude of 82.5 E. Ironically, the actual time gap between Arunachal to Gujarat is almost 2 hours. That means, if people of Gujarat are behind one hour of IST, those in Arunachal are ahead of one hour. So, Sun sets in Arunachal two hours before Gujarat.
This is causing problems to people, especially schoolchildren and wasting a lot of our precious electricity and fuel. Employees of north-eastern states have to use electricity in their offices, to stay working till 5 pm or 6 pm, because, Sun sets there by 4 pm. Similarly, people of Gujarat will have to use more electricity to start work early.
Educationists are concerned that schoolkids of north-east and Gujarat are missing at least 30 minutes sleep to catch up with the IST based school timings, according a popular general knowledge website. Moreover, India has to lose a lot of GDP due to this single time zone. We can switch over to two time zones – one for the north-eastern states and another for the rest of the country.
This will make life easy to all. Schools can reschedule their times as per the local Sun rise and Sun set timings and save huge amount of electricity every year.