Thursday, June 22, 2006

you might be aware that several urban areas like bangalore, chennai, hyderabad, etc that are considering metro solutions based on the example of delhi.

in delhi it cost 165 crore per km for the metro (no spelling mistakes here. it is crore not lakhs). in bangalore the estimate is 178 crore per km. also in delhi it seems the passengers taking metro is just 4.5 lakhs per day instead of projected 15 lakhs per day. only 1/3rd of estimated passengers take the metro.

instead of jumping on metro route, ahmedabad seems to be taking the brt (bus rapid transport) route. there is a very good article at . the estimate on cost is 7.5 crore per km (almost 1/10th of bangalore metro).

why are we concerned what route an urban area takes. after all urban areas are well to do with good schools, colleges, hospitals, flow of money, wealthy people, swanky hospitals, software boom, millionaries, finance centers, etc, etc. so why do we care what route a city takes?

the answer: our urban areas must have low-input, low-cost, low-resource urbanisation. the huge money that is being spend per km in a metro is not coming free. it is the our, the tax payer, money (compounded by yearly interest) that is being diverted to ill-fitting solutions and gleefully funded by national and international organisations.

the same money can be used for social sector schemes, environmental restoration, pollution control efforts, hugely neglected public education, rural economy, agriculture research, self help groups,abysmal public urban-rural health, biofuels initiative, etc, etc.

the metro, looks to me, that we have to show the world that are we fast progressing on 'developedment'.

please read a nailing editorial by hindu regarding the Athirapilly hydroelectric project at .

this editorial qualifies for the best editorial ever written on the discussion of the rain forests vis-a-vis developedment.

i have seldom seen a brilliant editorial like this one in recent times. the editorial summarises the athirapally situation beautifully as follows:
Finding non-polluting sources of energy is of paramount importance, but a far-sighted policy should recognise that an assault on the natural environment is unacceptable in a framework of sustainable development. The last remaining rainforests must not be sacrificed in the name of progress

there is a very interesting article regarding solar power today in sanjose mercury news at

the standout lines are
At capacity, the factory could turn out enough solar cells each year to generate 430 megawatts of electricity, said Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen. That's enough to power about 325,000 homes.

1. why can't india's policy maker's who are so keen on polluting technologies like ultra mega coal power plants, nulcear power plants do this kind of solar focussed projects.
2. why can't india's policy maker's tieup directly with silicon valley companies to bring this kind of much cleaner technlogy to india at the same time it is being envisaged in santa clara or san francisco (both in north california).
3. why cant india's policy makers, who are bent on ripping apart rain forests of western ghats and north east india by unsustainable and ill fated hydro electric dams, consider greener technologies.
4. why can't india, a huge sun blessed country, jump on solar r&d in a massive way.

Major step for solar power
Mercury News
A Palo Alto company has decided to build the world's largest factory for making solar power cells in the Bay Area -- a move that would nearly triple the nation's solar manufacturing capacity and give a significant boost to a growing source of clean energy.
Nanosolar, a privately held company founded in 2001 with seed money from Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, plans to make the announcement today, and in the next two to six weeks will select San Jose, Santa Clara or San Francisco as the site.
At capacity, the factory could turn out enough solar cells each year to generate 430 megawatts of electricity, said Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen. That's enough to power about 325,000 homes.

there is an interesting story in latest frontline, especially if you are from mumbai and its outskirts.

reliance is planning to construct world's biggest private sez (special economic zone) called maha mumbai.

details at

a particular comment - in bold below- is interesting. i think globalisation in india involves not only market forces but also the govt that brutally aids this so called 'market forces'.

The land acquisition law also says that while fixing compensation the state must take into consideration the value of the land after it is developed, but this is not being considered. This time, Reliance has chosen to operate outside the market. Companies that swear by `market forces' run back to the state for subsidies and concessions.