Delhiites to switch off lights to save power today

Last Updated: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:50

New Delhi: Many parts of the capital are expected to go dark as the clock strikes 8.30 pm on Friday with Delhiites planning to voluntarily switch off non-essential lights for one hour to save power.
The initiative comes on the lines of a global Earth Hour observed March 28 when Delhi managed to save a whopping 10,000 MW of power in an hour.

Taking a cue from the event, the Delhi government decided in April to observe Earth Hour quarterly on the last working day of every third month.

The government has asked 2,000 residents welfare associations (RWAs), 2,000 students in school ecological clubs and market associations to join the campaign.

Residents have also pitched in and are sending SMSes and e-mail messages urging people to join the campaign to save power by turning off non-essential lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

"My friends and I are sending e-mail and text messages to relatives, friends and acquaintances asking them to switch off lights during Earth Hour," said Charu Gupta, a college student living in Malviya Nagar.

Many communities have been formed on social networking site Facebook, urging people to observe Earth Hour.

Uzzwal Madhab, who started the Earth Hour 2009 group on Facebook, said, "I welcome the Delhi government initiative and we have been asking people to join hands in saving power. We want people across India to take part in such campaign for the welfare of mankind."

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, "You did it for an hour in March, saved 1,000 MW, a world record. Let`s participate once again July 31. Donate power during Earth Hour."

According to the government, the quarterly affair could save up to 400 MW of power in a year.

"We have also asked ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) to switch off the lights at monuments like India Gate and Humayun Tomb during the time," an official said.

The concept of the Earth Hour campaign was started in Australia in 2007. This year`s Earth Hour and climate change initiative by the World Wide Fund (WWF) saw 80 countries taking part in the community initiative to save energy.

Ravi Singh of the WWF-India lauded the Delhi government`s proposal to save power.

"The Delhi government`s action shows that positive voluntary action by citizens can lead to good things for larger benefits for environment. Secondly, I am sure that if Delhi takes the lead, then other cities and states are likely to follow and can be pursued," Singh said.

IANS



First Published: Friday, July 31, 2009 - 12:50

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