Daylight Savings Time Introduced in Pakistan

Posted on May 31, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development
34 Comments
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Adil Najam

Pakistan Daylight Savings Time ChangeAs of the stroke of midnight Saturday-Sunday (May 31-June 1, 2008) Pakistan officially advanced its clocks by one hour. This “daylight savings” move is a bid to conserve energy in an increasingly energy strapped economy in conditions where everyone agrees that the energy situation is going to get worse well before it gets any better.

The change puts Pakistan six hours ahead of the GMT. This change will last for three months; June-August.

Dawn reports that:

the energy conservation package approved by the Federal Cabinet on May 14 also envisages that during the next three months (June-August), all shopping plazas will close business after 9 p.m. and switch over their weekly holidays from Sunday to Friday, while industries will similarly stagger their weekly offs; WAPDA will not supply power to billboards using lights besides management of street lights. Under Cabinet’s directive the use of air conditioners will be stopped from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Prime Minister House, Secretariat and other government offices, while one million energy saver bulbs will be purchased to promote culture of installing such bulbs across the country. The government has already set up a task force to control line losses.

The energy situation in Pakistan is precarious indeed. The economic loss that is being caused by it has to be immense. In all major cities, one seems to spend the entire day waiting for or recovering from the last load-shedding. Indeed, the economic working day in Pakistan is better described as the few hours of electricity in an otherwise electricity-less day, rather than by the hours of load-shedding within a “normal” flow of electricity.

The economic loss has to be measured not only by the economic value that is lost because of the lack of electricity, but also but the resources that are being diverted towards the expenditures necessitated by the new “load-shedding economy.” Those who can afford to, and many who can not, are being forced to spend obnoxious amounts of ineffective, uneconomical, noisy and polluting generators. Those who cannot, try out UPS solutions and the markets are flooded by over-priced and under-performing Chinese “rechargeable” lights and fans (some with built-in radios and other gimmicks). Most, however, have no options but to get used to the new status quo where people are already beginning to describe th day not by how many hours of load-shedding they have but by how many hours of electricity they get!

So, is “daylight savings” the answer? Or, at least, part of the answer?

Pakistan Daylight Savings Time ChangeThe history and reality of the idea of daylight savings is itself a fascinating one. The book, Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time by Michael Downing, is a most fascinating account of the history and efficacy of the idea and it is not clear just how useful – if at all – the concept has been in actually saving energy.

To look on the bright side, the decision shows that a certain seriousness has emerged in Pakistan to think seriously about conservation solutions. Everyone seems honestly interested in it. And, quite clearly, conservation has to be a key step. However, this along with the other steps in the new Energy Conservation Plan, even if appropriate, seem like an inadequate attempt to respond to a crisis that demands much more bold strategies.

A simple chronicle of just some of the many posts ATP has carried on the topic shows just how serious a crisis we are in and how much worse it is likely to become:

The Violence of Energy Insecurity
KESC, Karachi and Power Outages
Multiple Crises in Pakistan
Karachi Suffering the Heat
Bijli Bachao Mohem!
Andhair Nagri
Bijli Nama

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34 responses to “Daylight Savings Time Introduced in Pakistan”

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  2. S. Nawaid Sabri says:

    So far we have not seen any progress and positive change towards effective control on electricity crises in Pakistan, the idea of day light saving is simply not working while being quite effective in many countries of the. Instead we are pushed to pay more on every unit we use as if THIS is THE solution of this power crises. Some people may not agree with me but the fact is that currently we are going through an era where no one cares about how the people who are suffering from this pain will survive? Old, Sick, weak and children are specially facing this unbearable phase with helplessness. Sincerity of the authorities is quite clear with the step of increasing the GAS price and creating slabs to discourage people for using GAS Power Generators which were being extensively used at common men level as self management against 12 to 14 hours load shedding. Even after all this we still hope that this period of distress will end and we will recollect our strength in power generation; the only thing which needs to be understood by the authorities is “success and desired results are always followed by sincere efforts”.

  3. Haroon says:

    The clocks in Pakistan have finally been turned back.

    I think this did no benefit to anyone and was a waste of energy and TIME.

  4. S. Nawaid Sabri says:

    I think it is a good sign that government has taken few steps to reduce electricity problems, instead to thinking negatively we should comply with the idea and try to contribute in it by starting and ending our day just an hour earlier.

    Here, important thing to encourage people to accept this change will be the projection of change of figures in power reserves and its effect on accumulated reduction in load-shedding in terms of number of hours on per day/per week basis and power supply to the consumer must be effected accordingly.

    Another thing which is very important and will definitely effect positively on consumer’s acceptability for this day-light saving system is that the power saved through this change must be divided equally in each and every populated areas which is currently suffering from low power reserves.

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