All about Assam is everything you need to know about Assam and a bit about North East from the viewpoint of a Assamese person who likes to analyse current affairs, sports, books and culture of Assam.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Do we need a separate Time Zone in North Eastern part of India: Pros and Cons

   It has been a long since the issue of separate time Zone in Assam and its adjacent states are forming an public outcry. In fact this one matter has the credit of uniting the states of North East India which we fondly call 'Seven Sister states' or earlier referred to as Greater Assam. In the month of April 2010 the issue of separate time zone in Northeast was first raised unanimously and it was supported by the entire North East region. But like the fate met by most public issues this issue too got pushed to the backseat over the time. Ever since the Telengana issue garnered positive reaction from all corners the issue of separate Time Zone also revived with added gusto and fierce support from all strata of the society.

What it implies?
The lifestyle of the people have much to do the early sunrise and sun set. Meet any farmer who does not need to follow the clock to start his day. He and all his fellowmen would start the day at the dawn which would mostly be at 4 AM. And you probably will never make a person from Delhi or Ahmedabad understand that why most people from the North East have their lunch at the latest at 1PM. And why it is like leaving his office at 8Pm when he actually leaves at 6.PM. (Here I am not talking about those whose lifestyle has nothing to do with sunrise and sunset.)

The difference that is not visible to the rest of India
When the rises at 4AM at Arunachal or Kohima it shows up in Gujarat or in Mumbai two hours later. So before reaching their office or children at their schools, they have already spent half a day at home. This is seriously losing work hours and productivity. Noted Film maker Jahnu Baruah commented on the issue that "total wastage of electricity at homes and offices of the region since Independence due to this is to tune to Rs 94,900 crores".

Loss of productivity and wastage of Electricity
The respective Chief Minsters of Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh had joined the chorus  by saying that North Eastern States are losing economically by sharing Indian Standard Time. Gradually the whole region is demanding a separate time zone which should be advanced than the IST. A group of MLAs from Assam tried to push the issue forward by submitting a memorandum to Prime Minster Man Mohan Singh recently.

Why it is not impossible to have separate time zone in same country
India is a vast country with diverse culture and religions and even diverse climatic conditions. The issue of diversity should be carefully handled so as to make the best out of it, not by leveling them. Countries like USA and Russia have different time zones already. Cannot we be brave enough even after 66 years of independence to embrace a separate time zone which will add up to productivity and stop wastage of valuable electricity. Definitely separatist issues will never cease to crop up, but when it involves productivity we should never take anything less than that.

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