Kazakhstan Plans to Switch to Single Time Zone in 2024

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Trade and Integration has put forth a project proposing amendments to the government resolution governing the calculation of time across the country. According to the drafted document, Kazakhstan is set to apply the fifth time zone (UTC+05.00) uniformly across its entire territory, reported the ministry’s press service on Dec. 7.

Photo credit: Getty Images.

If approved, the transition will take place on March 1, 2024. The cities of Astana, Almaty, and Shymkent as well as the Abai, Akmola, Almaty, Zhambyl, Zhetisu, Karagandy, Kostanai, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan, Turkistan, Ulytau and East Kazakhstan regions will turn back the local time by one hour.

Kazakhstan uses two time zones: UTC+05.00 and UTC+06.00. Most of the country’s territory, except the western regions, uses the UTC+06.00 time zone.

According to scientists, the current time zone UTC+06.00 does not correspond to natural solar time, negatively affecting biological rhythms and human health.

The scientific consensus confirms that to maintain health, it is best to use constant time zones that are as close as possible to solar time, and the transition to a single UTC+05.00 time zone throughout Kazakhstan is seen as the most optimal solution, supported by research institutes and fellow scientists, said chronobiology expert Bolat Nurkhozhayev.

According to scientists, 175 countries use a single time zone. Only 22 states use two or more time zones.

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