Delhi switches off lights to save power (Lead)

July 31st, 2009 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Historical monuments, several government buildings and many households turned dark Friday evening as Delhi voluntarily switched off the lights for an hour to save power and become environment friendly.
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.

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

“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 told IANS.

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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