Northeast Wants a Second Time Zone in the Country

Tea gardens in Assam already work to local clocks known as “Baagan Timings" that is set an hour in advance of IST.
dawn in north east

At 4 AM IST, it’s already bright in most parts of the Northeastern part of the country and by 5 PM in the evening, it starts to get dark. The difference in sunrise and sunset time between the eastern and western parts of India is about two hours. So once again a demand for a separate time zone for the northeastern states in gaining wind in the Northeast.

Senior leader in the freshly formed BJP government in Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma has talked about his plans to take the matter up with the Centre, NDTV reported.

IST—set five-and-a-half hours ahead of the international Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and introduced in 1947—has been chosen with reference to a central station sited 82º 30’ longitude east and 23º 11’ latitude North, passing through Allahabad district in Uttar Pradesh but it makes very little sense in the North East. In fact, adhering to the IST in the Northeast has caused a serious loss in productivity and has added billions to energy costs.

“Definitely there is a loss of energy, a loss of workable hours,” says Arup Kumar Datta, a writer in the north-eastern state of Assam who has campaigned on the issue. “A person is fresher in the morning], but by the time you go to the office t 10 o’clock you have lost that energy.”

In 2006, the Planning Commission recommended the introduction of two time zones in the country, saying it would save “a lot of energy” but the government rejected the idea citing two times zones in the country could potentially pose problems for airlines, railways and communications services.

Tea gardens in Assam already work to local clocks known as “Baagan Timings” that is set an hour in advance of IST.