Minister of Information Qamar Zaman Kaira confused the nation while announcing on live TV that watches would have to be tinkered with. He first said they should be turned back by an hour and then said they had to be advanced by an hour on April 15, 2009. The statement compounded the confusion of a nation already nonplussed about government policies. It is claimed that 250 Megawatts of electricity would be saved daily by just advancing the clock by one hour. One may ask what is the basis for such a calculation? The vagaries of weather also have an effect on power consumption. The delayed summer this year due to rains in April has cut short the loadshedding due to lesser use of fans and air conditioners even though the gimmick to use 'extra daylight' was not in place during the early part of April. We have a habit of following the beaten track instead of doing serious research on the various patterns of use of power depending on supply and demand. Some wizard in the Ministry of Water and Power had come up with the idea that 250 MW could be saved by just turning the clocks forward and off we go. This is bound to upset all living cycles of the nation including rail and air timings. The farmers would be confused too about the timing of their sharing irrigation water. The studies carried out in USA have revealed that it is a fallacy to claim that power can be saved by just turning the clocks forward or backward. Instead of generating affordable power by hydroelectric dams, the Ministry of Water and Power is juggling facts and fiction to befool the people. -DR. MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI, Lahore, via e-mail, April 9.