An expert panel formed to determine whether a separate time zone can be assigned to the northeastern states has recommended against the move for “strategic reasons”, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The matter was examined by a high level committee (HLC) comprising the secretary of the Department of Science and Technology and Tripura’s Chief Secretary.
“The HLC, after considering the issue, recommended not to have two time zones for India for strategic reasons,” said Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan. There was no mention of when the HLC was formed.
In a written response to a question on demands from the northeastern states for having a separate time zone, he said such requests have been made on the ground that sunrise and sunset timings in these parts are earlier than official working hours. “National Physical Laboratory (NPL) published certain reports in science journals on this issue, referring to saving of electricity,” Vardhan said.
The demand for a separate time zone is not new. Last year, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu demanded a separate time zone for northeastern states stating that several work hours are wasted as the sun rises early and offices open late.