Lights off at Rashtrapati Bhavan to observe Earth Hour

New Delhi: In a rare event, the Rashtrapati Bhavan today plunged into darkness to mark the Earth Hour and joined millions of people across the globe who observed the pro-environment initiative.

All the lights at the imposing structure, situated at the top of Raisina Hill in the national capital, were switched off.

During this one hour period, all non-essential lights in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President's Estate and also the family wing of President Pratibha Patil were switched off, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

"The Residents Welfare Association of the President's estate has been involved in preparations for observation of Earth Hour," the spokesperson said.

Organised by World Wide Fund for Nature, the 'Earth Hour' is celebrated across major cities of the world on the last Saturday of March annually by turning off non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Throughout the last year, efforts have been made under the Roshini Programme to reduce consumption of electricity in the main building of Rashtrapati Bhavan as well in the President's Estate. There was a reduction of 22.3 per cent in electricity consumption and reduction of 16.8 per cent in the total number of units consumed, as compared to calendar year 2009, the statement said.

As a result, savings on electricity consumption were approximately Rs 1.64 crore and about 26 lakh units were saved, it added.