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Capital ready to switch off for Earth Hour

On March 28,when Delhi turns its lights off at 8.30 pm,the Dilli Haat at INA will come alive. Not with the usual blaze of lights but soft candle lights and solar lanterns.

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi |
March 25, 2009 12:43:39 am

On March 28,when Delhi turns its lights off at 8.30 pm,the Dilli Haat at INA will come alive. Not with the usual blaze of lights but soft candle lights and solar lanterns.

On the occasion of Earth Hour,expected to be the biggest voluntary movement Delhi has seen so far,RWAs and shopkeepers have pledged to turn off non-essential lights. The Delhi government and Earth Hour organiser World Wildlife Fund for Nature will organise a community cultural programme – by candle and solar light.

Earth Hour is meant to be a symbolic pledge by most of the world against climate change,where at a standard time in all countries – 8 30 pm – people and establishments will turn off their lights. 70 countries and 800 cities have pledged their voluntary support.

In India,the Delhi and Maharashtra state governments have pledged their support.

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The Department of Environment has written to schools,RWAs and traders requesting them to switch off.

“We have written to the labour commissioner,as under the Shops and Establishment Act,shops can shut down by 8.15 pm. Else,they can switch off non-essential lights. We have also written to 2,000 schools that have eco clubs and 2,000 RWAs,asking them to switch off their lights. We are also trying to get iconic buildings in Delhi to switch off,” an official from the department said.

However,due to “security concerns” Delhi can’t be expected to be plunged into darkness but it’s also an occasion for Delhiites to review the number of lights they have on at any given time. “Due to security concerns,establishments will be expected to switch off only non-essential lights. In residential areas,however,we are telling people to have candle-light dinners!” he said. The department is preparing a TV advert,to be aired on Doordarshan,for Earth Hour.

“30,000 people from all over have pledged their support for Earth Hour,” Aarti Khosla of the WWF said.

“The candle-light event at Dilli haat is planned to be a community event as we want to get people together on the issue of climate change. Minimum grid electricity will be used. The entire exercise is voluntary and is meant to get people to care. There will be performances by Shovana Narayan’s dance troupe and a musical performance by The Beats of India,” Khosla said.

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