Panel rejects demand for separate time zone for NE states

NEW DELHI, Dec 19: The demand for a separate time zone for the northeastern states proved futile as a panel formed to examine the matter recommended against it for “strategic reasons,” reports PTI.
In a written response to a question on demands from the northeastern states for having a separate time zone, Union Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Parliament that such requests have been made on the ground that sunrise and sunset timings in these parts are much earlier than the official working hours.
“National Physical Laboratory (NPL) published certain reports in science journals on this issue, referring to saving of electricity,” Vardhan said.
The matter was examined by a high level committee (HLC) comprising the secretary of the science & technology department and the Tripura chief secretary, he added.
“The HLC, after considering the issue, recommended not to have two time zones for India for strategic reasons,” he said.
However, in response to the question, there was no mention of when the panel was formed.
A senior official of the science & technology ministry said the panel was formed several years ago.
The demand for a separate time zone for NE states is not new.
Last year, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu demanded a separate time zone for the northeastern states, stating that several work hours are wasted as offices open late and the sun rises early.
France has 12 time zones, while the US has 11 and Australia has eight. Like India, China has only one time zone.