Bangalore’s IT bigwigs, malls, homes to switch off lights Saturday

March 27th, 2009 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 27 (IANS) IT majors, fancy shopping malls, homes and business establishments in India’s tech hub will shut off lights for an hour Saturday evening to observe Earth Hour.
The Karnataka capital, one of the highest power consuming cities of India, is joining 2,000 cities in over 80 countries to observe Earth Hour, to create awareness on effect of climate change.

Those participating in the Earth Hour will Saturday switch off lights in their homes, offices and business establishments at 8.30 pm, for exactly 60 minutes.

Bangalore’s shopping hubs on Brigade Road and M.G. Road in the city centre, which are heavily crowded on weekends, will sport gentle candle light for an hour Saturday.

“We too are joining in the world wide movement of Earth Hour, a 60-minute conscientious act in the backdrop of climate change by switching off all our small and big lights for an hour on Saturday,” Suhail Yusuf, president of the Brigade Road Trader’s Association, told IANS.

“We have made adequate security arrangements to keep the shoppers secure in the darkness. Candles will be used to light up the entire Brigade Road,” he added.

Echoing similar sentiments, N Palaniappan, secretary of the Bangalore Trader’s Association, said shopping and commercial establishments on M.G. Road would also switch off lights for an hour Saturday.

“The hour-long, self-imposed darkness would be a time to reflect on, and worry about, climate change that we human beings have induced, a situation that some people find difficult to recognize, even now,” Palaniappan added.

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM), the main supplier of power in the city, too has been working hard for the past one week to create awareness among Bangalore’s denizens to make Earth Hour a successful event.

“All our employees are participating in the event. I appeal to all Bangaloreans to participate in the event and pledge to fight against global warming,” said a senior BESCOM official, who didn’t wished to be named.

Several corporate houses, including IT companies, of the city are to actively take part in the event.

“Earth Hour argues that cutting down on electricity for an hour would actually be a vote against global warming and climate change. We are joining in the effort,” said Arman Ali of Infosys’ HR department.

“It is our duty to save the environment and work towards reducing global warming. By switching off lights for an hour is no big deal. Anyway, Bangalore remains powerless for hours during summers. I too am going to join the world wide phenomena and have asked my friends to keep the lights of their houses switch off for an hour on Saturday,” said college-goer Pradip Bhargava.

Being the hub of India’s IT industry, Bangalore gets 27 million units (mu) of power everyday, about five million units less than its demand for 32 million units. Karnataka presently faces a shortage of nine mu of power per day. While the demand is 142 mu, the supply is only 133 mu. The situation is likely to worsen in the coming days as the demand will go up in April and May.

The event was started a couple of years ago in Thailand. Today, it has taken global shape. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also endorsed the event.

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