Delhi switches off lights to save power, President joins in

Delhi  switches off lights to save power, President joins in

Top: A view of President House as President Pratibha Patil joins to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo

Exactly at 8.30 p.m., the Delhi secretariat, old secretariat, Humayun's Tomb, the Archaeological Survey of India building and several other government offices went for a voluntary blackout, abiding a call from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit 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 to observe Earth Hour quarterly  - on the last working day of every third month.

President Pratibha Patil too joined a large number of Delhi residents who switched off their lights to mark the Earth Hour. The entire Rashtrapati Bhavan plunged into partial darkness as all its decorative and focused lights were switched off between 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on the lines of World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-supported World Earth Hour which is observed globally on the last Saturday of March each year.

Citizens in several areas of the city too switched off their lights for an hour to show care about the planet. This is the third time that 'Earth Hour' was observed in the national capital since March.

The Environment Department of Delhi Government has mooted the idea of observing 'Earth Hour' every three months which will enable the city administration to save 500 MW of power.

The Environment Department had approached various market associations, colleges, schools and institutions to participate in the campaign.

During the Earth Hour, cities across the globe switch off their lights to conserve maximum amount of energy which implies reduction in the emission of green house gases in the atmosphere.

Emission of Green House Gases remains a major problem which results in large scale long term and irreversible changes in the climate having far reaching effects on the ecosystems.

“Yes, we switched off the light to be a part of the green and meaningful campaign,” said Ravi Singh, a director of WWF-India.

“This is a great initiative by the state government and we will cooperate with them as much as possible,” he said.

While calling for the voluntary blackout, Dikshit had said: "You did it for an hour in March, saved 1,000 MW, a world record. Let's participate once again. Donate power during Earth Hour." 

The chief minister's call to save electricity comes at a time when the national capital is reeling under a power crisis. 

Though many residents joined the campaign as a matter of responsibility, there were some who did not.

“I am now sitting in the dark though many of my neighbours are enjoying their ACs. As a responsible citizen I did my bit,” said Kishore Mishra, a young scientist.

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

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 campaigns for the welfare of mankind."

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

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