DMPQ:Should India Have more than one Time zone?

India is geographically the second-largest country not to have multiple time-zones- the People’s Republic of China being the other. Adopting two time zones for India is something that the Government ought to consider and look to implement. Far too many people in India operate in a time zone that is not an appropriate diurnal cycle for them.

Single time zone advantage:

  • Utter chaos due to implementation of two time zones.
  • But there is another aspect, common to the Chinese and Indian desires to maintain single time zones over vast nations — the ‘unity’ theory. A single time, a single shared experience, no matter where you are in India, unifies the nation.
  • India is as not vast as China to have two different time zones.

Multi zone advantage:

  • Changing time zones when we travel internationally can seriously disturb physical cycles. If the sun rises too early and sets too early, or vice versa, as per the local time, it can also disturb body cycles.
  • But being in the same time zone where the sun is high in the sky in Kolkata and barely rising in Mumbai, is strange. After all, these two cities are an hour apart by their natural time zones.
  • There are also economic benefits to having two different time zones; people will be able to work better and plan better, according to natural cycles rather than the one imposed by the state.
  • Higher energy consumption: A conservative estimate shows that starting the day an hour earlier would result in a saving of about 550 MW of power in northeast India alone.
  • Social stigma with night / darkness: Every city has an apparent safe time limit for strolling in the night. This would be earlier for eastern states by at least a couple of hours. This in turn might cause lesser customers at the night life (restaurants, pubs) venues, and hurting the economy a bit. Moreover, safety of citizens puts additional burden on our already overburdened police force.
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