Friday, September 28, 2007

as india manically chases new coal power plants crushing local protests amongst fishermen and agriculturists in name of development (of course development of the rich), california is pushing in opposite direction tapping the power of sun for solar power in massive way.

as bush administration lies and cheats the world -just like they did on the fake iraqi war- on global warning and india and china neither filling the vacuum of leadership in tackling climate crisis and not pushing america to take leadership role in climate crisis -seldom realizing that global warming will slam their country's poor rather than americans- california is taking an opposite direction by going in sustainable way.

and california is doing solar power in massive way turning it the saudi arabia of solar power. and california is targeting a massive 24000 mw of solar power - an unprecedented figure in the entire world.

not only these plans a huge boon for environment and climate, but also opens a new stream of employment opportunities in solar r&d, solar power equipments manufacturing, solar/solar thermal generation, etc.

this we should call true development. when green is the lion, you have to be the king who rides the lion. right now california is increasingly the king who is out to lead the world in new technologies that can fight climate crisis, a role that the bush administration, china and india will not do.(ausra's solar power plant in australia. ausra is planning massive solar power generation in california. california with its proactive sustainable policies is increasingly leading the world in tackling climate crisis. india has so far not done anything substantial to take leadership role in tackling climate crisis, instead in name of fake development pushing destructive policies of ecosystem and marginalized communities. picture courtsey mercurynews)

as iraqi war zero president bush embarks on his sudden last days image salvaging climate change game in what can be termed as 'climate wash', he is oblivious of one fact.

the fact is that energy guzzling ways of america is not only leading climate change all across the world and is causing and will be causing huge suffering in terms of changing climate patterns, rainfalls, glacier impacts, etc resulting in chaos to many in poor countries.

he is cleverly suggesting that each polluting country plan their own emission cut in way they deem fit so that 'their' economic growth does not get slowed or stunned. oh yeah right. if you ask an oil man to cut emissions he will tell this joke and tell more jokes in private.

this game is also a clever way of undermining the kyoto protocol which calls for definite and mandatory cut in emissions of america and developed countries.

one point to note is that china and india are increasingly showing up in the emission graph. china with its back end factory of cheap american goods to satisfy the every cheap goods clamoring american public is cranking almost one coal powered factory every week.

in this global connected world as american consumers are concerned with poor quality chinese products, each and every citizen in poor countries that are being increasingly impacted by climate change has the right to demand that the greatest country (and sadly the greatest polluter) stand up, take responsibility and be a leader in cutting emission norms.

john kerry is right and i quote him, "Voluntary hasn't worked and it won't work and we don't have time to play games anymore. There has to be a mandatory reduction requirement, we all have to be part of it and, frankly, the United States needs to lead".

voluntary will never work and when it comes to energy guzzling industries that do not care about earth, 'voluntary' means 'dont do it; dont care about it'.

it is time for america to be the leader in emission controls, in green technology and in climate change mitigation process. in this america can not only cut emissions but also create a huge number of jobs in the new green technology. and that leader can tell the slumbering countries like india to wake up and smell the green cheese and start truly developing in sustainable way.

will the president whose each and every move is haunted by the iraqi war disaster wake up and smell the reality. or will be be a double fiasco of iraqi war and damn-climate-change-president. the former is confirmed and the later is also getting confirmed in conducting useless conferences like the one that is happening.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

each state in india has a biodiversity board which is concerned with the biodiversity of the ecosystem at state level.

biodiversity is very important to document, analyze, protect and cherish since it indicates the wealth of the ecosystem.

like pollution control board and other environmental regulatory authorities these departments are severely bypassed in 'developed' india when it comes to 'development' projects and their opinions/recommendations either seldom taken or not even asked for.

in kerala, for a change in kerala, the kerala state biodiversity board has opposed the athirapally dam project.

kerala state biodiversity board is headed by well known environmentalist dr.v.s.vijayan and he has been opposing this project right from beginning.

one of the crucial things that is happening in the way india is 'developing' is that the pillars of sustainable development like ministry of environment and forests, biodiversity boards, pollution control boards, wildlife committees, etc are being bulldozed and brutalized into submission to clear 'projects' so that rich india can keep on 'developing'.

we need more action from kerala biodiversity board so that they are not just crushed aside in the madness to build a monster of a unneeded athirapally dam.

as india 'develops' and as our politicians are being worked by our industrialists for 'development' one thing that misses the radar is the blatant tweaking of crucial policies that define the progress of the nation.

take for example, the mining policy. this policy is very vital as mining -that done in a sustainable manner with long term focus and which does not screw up forests, wildlife and villagers- is vital for any country growth.

but with loot and scoot mining policy of india all the parameters are abused often to 'develop' rich mnc's and industrialists.

in his well written article by manishi asher (of national centre for advocacy studies, Pune) argues correctly how blatantly mining policy is being defined in relentless pursuit of money, money and more money with resulting abuse, abuse and more abuse of our ecosystem and people who depend on those.

money and abuse go hand in hand with fake development that is happening right now in india.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

i had one word, only one word after read p.sainath article on the irresponsible comments on the vidharba farmers being lazy.


sainath has let himself go against the totally irresponsible (and probably how stone hearted the politicians and lawmakers have become) comments of union textiles minister shankar singh vagehla and maharashtra chief minister vilasrao deskmukh.

the article is here. articles like these in respected newspaper like hindu needs to come in a bigger way. then only the chant of fake development can be doused before it engulfs entire rural communities and ecosystems in fire.

the saga of pollution of bhavani river and the kalingarayan canal seems to be unending. with cheap textile export - to the rich developed countries whose population increasingly seeks deals, deals and more details- on the increase, this poor region where agriculture is an important livelihood is getting smashed by daily pollution.

the pollution in these areas can be traced to several important threads. willful pollution by textile manufacturers, a sleeping tamilnadu pollution control board, americans appetite for increasingly cheap garments which forces american retailers to pressurize indian textile manufactures, almost zero penalty for the pollution and its impact, political and policy makers stressing 'development at any cost' - all are the threads that connect and cause this pollution.

it is amazing to see the courage of farmers in this erode area fighting many devils, the devil called the government which is deaf to the plight of farmers, the devil called policy makers who do not care about agricultural policy and implementation, the devil called cheap american consumer behavior and the devil called infinite tolerance for pollution by enforcement agencies.

when it comes to development, devils rule the roost.
(the abused and polluted kalingarayan canal in erode district of tamilnadu. development should be replaced with the word pollutment)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

you have to trust kseb (kerala state electricity board) to make decisions that go in opposite direction to that what it is supposed to do.

kseb, we all know, is trusted with generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in kerala. as such the role of the board stops with that. it does not care how this electricity is being used by fancy apartments and malls, it perhaps does not care about trimming down the t&d losses, it is a laggard on renewable energy sources such as wind power, it is not mandating solar power systems and solar water heaters for upper middle class in urban areas, push software companies and others for green sustainable buildings and many more things that it can do to help in wastage of electricity and also proper usage of electricity.

that's why kseb is proposing again the pathrakadavu hydel for clearance so that a monster and fake dam can be built, of course on top of a fake environment impact assessment report done by a pet private eia agency.

already with the bulldozing for athirapally happening via fake environmental process, kseb wants another project in its hands so that it can tell how great kerala can benefit from the meagre 70mw projected electricity from silent valley national park on the already dying kunthi river.

only in kerala, will crucial ecosystems such as silent valley national park be treated worthless. ecosystems that have been formed millions of years ago are treated with such utter disdain and careless. only in india will policy makers, politicians and upper middle class bay for blood for their own 'development'.(silent valley national park in kerala with kunthi river flowing. very soon 'development' might destroy this crucial ecosystem.)

i have tracked in this blog how fake development is treated as mantra for progress by all wings of the government like the finance ministry, environment ministry, prime minister office, etc.

not only the government but devil-may-care upper middle class of urban india also wants more and more 'development', so that they live like 'americans' live forgetting the fact that consumerisitic american life cannot be replicated in a congested and ecosystem crucial country like india.

adding to this development bandwagon are industrialists who push chemical, leather, mining, steel and other red tag industries in rural areas smashing agriculture, fishing and other livelihoods by outdated technology and zero pollution control mechanisms.

one industrialist seem to differ correctly on the paradigm of development. he is swraj paul. he spoke eloquently on the india america nuclear deal and now he is raising valid points on development and i quote from him, "Lord Swaraj Paul on Sunday emphasised that India can become a developed country if the issues of education, health and security are dealt with.

"About 30 per cent children have no access to primary education, over 30 per cent people live below the poverty line surviving on less than USD one a day," Lord Paul said during the launch of a magazine "NRI Achiever - Doing India Proud" here. "

he is right. any country that respects and treats all people as equal, that respects and gives opportunity to all sections of people, that treats rural livelihood like agriculture as very important poverty alleviation mechanism, that treats its rivers, coastal regions, forests, wildlife as crucial parameters, that lifts its children out of poverty by giving quality and subsidized primary education and health needs can truly be considered developed.

to be developed does not mean we have to live a gas guzzling life like in america. to be developed does not mean we have huge buildings amidst urban slums, to be developed does not mean we will have polluting industries that smash agriculture and violently displaces people, to be developed does not mean gdp figures alone.

Monday, September 24, 2007

as the fight over God escalates in the sethusamurdram project, one thing that is being smashed into pieces and will be smashed further is the ecology of the already fragile gulf of mannar biosphere area in the indian ocean.

cnn ibn story, although brief, vividly captures the important questions and i capture that crucial paragraph below.
Spread over 10,000 square kilometers, this is India's only marine biosphere reserve. With over 400 species of fish and 3500 species of marine life as varied as sea coral, dugongs and sea turtles, all under threat from the Sethusamudran project

in this kind of crucial ecosystem which feeds tens of thousands of fishermen, any mega activity has to be very openly analyzed and impact assessment done on the environmental front. not only that any such mega activity also has to be analyzed vis-a-vis the so called benefits.

but as atree researcher points out there are several violations on the environmental impact assessment (eia) and other important parameters on this destructive project.

with massive dredging resulting in massive amounts of sand the project proponents have not even identified how will they dispose such a mega huge quantity of sand and more importantly how this massive dredging will affecting the bio diversity of the region resulting in smashing of livelihoods of fishermen. also no thought has been spared on the re-deposit of the dredged sand due to natural ocean cycles.

the project is now being pitted as god versus no god. one thing man has forgotten though. irrespective of whether it is god or no god, one thing is certain if this project goes ahead and completes. destruction of the ecology of the gulf of mannar biosphere resulting in direct loss of livelihood to tens of thousands of fisherfolks.

when it comes to development, god or no god is not the question. the question should be whether the project is environmentally safe for the ecosystem and whether the project will not cause loss of livelihood to tens of thousands of people. sadly these very important 2 points have been brushed aside right from environmental impact assessment phase till the now ongoing god phase.

there was a interesting little tit bit of a news regarding kanjikode industrial estate pollution. kanjikode is an industrial belt in palakad and has slammed by pollution. sorry slammed by 'development'.

the news report said that and i quote "The Kerala Government has decided to appoint a three-member committee to study the extent of pollution caused by the steel foundry units at the Kanjikode industrial estate in Palakkad."

so far so good. but when i went to the last line of the tit bit i was shocked because it read as and i quote "The committee will be headed by Dr M. P. Sukumaran Nair, Managing Director, Travancore Cochin Chemicals."

why on earth will you nominate a managing director of a chemical company to analyze pollution, its socio-environmental-economic impact on neighboring communities, and how pollution can be eliminated by sustainable way of developing industries in these area(where pollution mitigation probably calls for carrot and tough stick policy).

instead of appointing a chemical company head, what you have to do is to analyze in an honest manner via proven and honest environmentalists so that that person and his committee can see whether even to allow more polluting industries or not considering the huge slamming already taking place in kanjikode.

very funny is development. i am barely able to imagine a 2nd grade failed student taking over the finance ministry of india. the parallel may not be the same, but having a chemical company head to analyze pollution defeats the very foundation of pollution analysis itself.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

world bank is a well known institution that funds a variety of projects in a wide range of countries. as per independent people's tribunal, india, one of the World Bank's oldest members, joined the institution in 1944 and has cumulatively borrowed more money than any other single country (US$65.7 billion). As of the end of June 2006, the Bank group had 56 active projects in India with a net commitment of about US$11.3 billion.

that's a whopping figure and that figure hides several issues in the funding. impact on marginalised communites, displacement, destruction of environment, fake environmental impact assessment reports that are taken at face for funding, sustainability of the project and many other parameters are thrown to the wind.

the people tribunal is happening as i write this blog between sept 21 and sept 24, 2007. below is a press release from the tribunal and it makes a strong case of monitoring how world bank funds fake development projects. more details are available in their website.

like fake development of india, world bank also does fake funding. funding for the sake of funding and keeping the world bank up and running seems to be the main objective rather than ground level true benefits.



PRESS RELEASE: 21 September 2007


The Independent Peoples Tribunal on the World Bank Group in India got underway at New Delhi today at a packed auditorium at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The 4 day event is being organised by a coalition of over 60 groups in collaboration with the JNU Students Union and Teachers Association. Activists, academicians, policy analysts and project affected communities are expected to present their analysis on the World Bank in over 26 sectors to an expert jury. The tribunal will run from today till 24 September. The opening jury members at today's panel included eminent historian Romila Thapar, Former Supreme Court Justice P B Sawant, Former Maharastra High Court Justice Suresh, Former Planning Commission member S P Shukla, Scientist Meher Engineer, Former Water Secretary Ramaswamy Iyer, Economist Amit Bhaduri and Mexican Economist Alejandro Nadal.

World Bank officials, including the Banks India Country Director Isabel Guerrero, and Government of India representatives have also been invited to the tribunal and have been given time to respond to the depositions. World Bank representatives are expected present their point of view on the closing day (24 September)

Questioning the supposed Bank developmental mandate of 'eradicating poverty', activist Smitu Kothari of Intercultural Resources argued that the Bank in fact functioned more like a commercial bank serving corporate interests. Kothari said, 'The Bank is the world's largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing to private enterprises and its loans to the private sector through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2006 amounted to a massive US$ 8.3 billion. 'The Bank claims that it is an apolitical institution but even a cursory look at its Governance conditionalities such as public sector reform, creating legislation to facilitate the private sector shows that it plays a profoundly political role in the country', he added.

Professor Arun Kumar from JNU said that due to World Bank and IMF structural adjustment conditionalities India had to undergo a complete policy overhaul after 1991. As evidence, he presented several national legislations that were overhauled after the structural adjustment programmes of the Bank; such as the RBI Act, introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Andhra Pradesh and the revision of the Coal Nationalization Act. As further evidence of the influence of the Bank on domestic policy he showed how an executive summary of a World Bank document in 1990 mentioned the need for a 22% devaluation of the Indian rupee. 'In 1991 the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh effected exactly a 22% devaluation of the rupee.

In his deposition to the jury Supreme Court Advocate Prashant Bhushan presented evidence on how, since 1991, most of the key influential economic policy makers in India, including members of the planning commission, secretaries of the Finance Ministry and Economic Advisors to the Government have been people who have had stints at the World Bank. 'They have moved seamlessly between the World Bank and the Government of India as if the latter were just a division of the former', he said. Bhushan singled out the case of the current czar of economic policy Montek Singh Ahluwalia who spent the first 11 years of his career at the World Bank. Since then he has been Commerce Secretary, Finance Secretary and now Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. 'There are several dozen such instances and it should be of little surprise that the Bank has been able to easily impose its ideology and policies in India', added Bhushan.

Shripad Dharamadhikari, Coordinator of Manthan Adhyayan Kendra spoke about how the Bank was looking at being a 'politically realistic knowledge provider' in India. This was being done through thematic and sectoral studies called AAA – Analytical and Advisory Activities – in which it is funding studies on Land, Water and Agriculture which were being used as reference documents to push its policies.

In a written deposition Professor Michael Goldman of the University of Minnesota posed the question of whose interests the Bank served. Goldman said that Northern firms continue to win a majority of the foreign procurement contracts awarded. 'In 2003 a startlingly high 45 percent was channeled to firms in the big five countries ( USA, UK, Japan, Germany and France)', said Goldman.

Professor Anil Sadgopal traced the policy framework for education in the country and showed how the target for universalisation of elementary education was constantly shifted following the intervention of the World Bank. 'The demarcation of certain districts in Madhya Pradesh as exclusively World Bank districts for the implementation of its DPEP programme was a gross violation of the sovereignty of the state', he said.

The days next sessions of the tribunal will cover the Banks interventions in Water, Health and its impacts on Human Rights. Speakers who will depose on Day 2 of the tribunal include Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar (on Urban Development), Magsayay Awardee Arvind Kejriwal (on Delhi Water Privatisation) and Economist Jayati Ghosh (on private sector and the World Bank)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

as this blog chronicled, during building of mindless and environmentally abusive mega unsustainable projects, one clear thing that gets a direct hit is the biodiversity of the location. plant species, endangered wildlife, endemic tribals, their livelihood, culture, customs, etc all take a direct hit.

in athirapally hydel dam issue, this plays out very clearly wherein the project proponents have trashed everything under the carpet and are bulldozing with the project.

for instance, dr.v.s.vijayan, now chairman of kerala state biodiversity board, last year shot off a letter to PM underscoring the importance of the athirapally project area from biodiversity stand point and raised his objections on the project. and he is now constituting the biodiversity body meeting to give opinion on the athirapally hydel dam project. i am pretty sure that the letter would have been thrown to the trash bin. if it was a phone call or a letter from say tata or reliance, man oh man, it would have been the highest priority. development is the mantra right?

even the kerala state government has not got opinion from the kerala state biodiversity board, a vital government constituted body on its opinion on the crucial forest area of athirapally. when it comes to development the only sections that matter are finance, clearance and construction. rest of the others can go the 'development' dustbin.

there was an interesting press release from the central pollution control board (cpcb) of india. before we go into the release a couple of lines about cpcb will be a useful.

operating under ministry of environment and forests, cpcb is the central body in charge of various state pollution control bodies of india. cpcb is like a watchdog much like the environment protection agency (epa) of united states.

cpcb is responsible for standards, safeguards, monitoring, regulation, penalties and other supervisory roles when it comes to pollution (vehicular, industrial, human wastes, etc) for our air, rivers, coastal areas and many other things.

and finally about cpcb, the less said the better. with virtually no power, compromised by politicians and bureaucrats, rendered toothless through technological backwardness, thrashed in name of development, cpcb can hardly stand up. you cannot ask a cancer patient to run a 100 meter dash right? especially when that 100 meter dash is littered with carcasses called development ?

now the press release says that delhi pollution level is highest amongst all india's cities and it quotes bombay at much lower figure.

what a surprise. does not the cpcb know that virtually all of india's cities are unbreathable due to bad environmental regulation and monitoring of air, does not cpcb know that india's auto companies are the first to protest any kind of regulation and control of emission norms, does not the cpcb know that all of india's urban rivers are dead with sewage and industrial pollution. the list is endless....

it also says that india is one of the most polluted country with 101 rank amongst 146 countries. well it should be more like 145 rather than 101, a gift of our 'development' strategy (tragedy).

it also says government has taken several steps in auto fuel policy, euro norm, standards, etc. makes fine reading and can help in scoring brownie points in government conferences, but reality in ground level as blogged in this blog is very different and tragic as environment rules are willfully violated and abused even by policy makers and mega companies and rarely monitored and enforced by wounded organizations like pcb and moef.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

i had expressed dismay by the nuclear renaissance talk of our prime minister. in a well written article by Brahma Chellaney, noted expert on defense matters, has politely blasted this argument. i reproduce it in full below.

Second, India can miss no bus because a “nuclear renaissance” remains chimerical. Even the Prime Minister has referred merely to the “talk the world over of a nuclear renaissance.” In fact, ever since such talk began in the mid-1990s, the share of nuclear power in global electricity has stagnated at 16 per cent. Today, 429 power reactors worldwide generate 370 gW, with just another 24 under construction, but none in the U.S. Ironically, as Finance Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh starved the indigenous nuclear-power programme of funds for expansion. The nation has a right to know whether his new-found interest in nuclear power is centred on imports.

it is becoming very clear in this india-america-manna-from-heaven-nuclear-deal that false facts and rhetoric seems to be ruling the roost. there is no renaissance for nuclear power anyhwere in western world and we are living in a illusionary world by talking about a dangerous technology as god given solution to be delivered by american nuclear lobby.

and even more dangerous is our urban upper middle class is being fed with nuclear gung-ho by half facts and misplaced details which will mean that pressure on politicians will increase manifold to close the deal. after all whatever america does is miracle for upper middle class india, a segment that does not know about enviornmental safeguards, rule of law and community power across america.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

as the fight over God escalates, many things have been conveniently forgotten in the sethu shipping canal project.

the fact that this disastrous project that dredges around 82 million tons of sand will destroy the ecology of the gulf of mannar, the fact that this hugely expensive project stands on weak financial footing, the fact that the very utility of the project is questionable, the fact that thousands of fishermen's livelihood is at stake, the fact that we know so very little about the treasure of gulf of mannar but are destroying it in name of 'development'.

as the sethu project got cleared amidst questionable environmental process by the project proponents, each and every political party started lobbying for credit easily forgetting that major sections of people living and fishing in gulf of mannar are opposing this project. the fact that dredging and project updates itself were questionable was easily brushed aside.

suddenly when it came to dredging the ram sethu bridge all hells broke loose. the political party and the people who were silent on the environmental degradation started protesting. to protest is human right. but to have kept silent so far on an environmental disaster in the making does not bode well.

now the project engineers are going to propose probably a different alignment without touching the sand formation of ram sethu bridge. but nobody will know or worry so far about the disaster this project is causing and will be causing further.

when it comes to fake development we all know environment is the much abused parameter. probably with a fake project called sethu even God is not being spared.
(dredging for sethu project. picture courtsey: hindu. massive mindless dredging will mean the biodiversity rich gulf of mannar will be ripped open with severe environmental consequences)

sometimes you have 'too much'. too much man, too much yaar, too much friend, too much >

but based on the west bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee comments on india nuclear deal, even too much might not be too much.

let see what his opinions are as per hindu article. he says he has doubts on environmental issues vis-a-vis nuclear deal, he has doubts about cost of generating nuclear electricity and the price it can be supplied.

fair enough. he has doubts. like most of the people in the world, a leader also at times can have doubts and never mind that he can lead in clarifying them from trusted experts. but what is too much is that he has asked the corporate sector to clarify these apart from our scientists.

if you ask corporate sector to clarify anything, there will be no clarification. well the fact that there will be no clarification means there are no doubts in their minds that nuclear power is needed. because in cement, in iron and steel, in construction, in water supply, in perhaps displacing thousands of people to setup new plants (nuclear in this case), in doing fake EIA analysis, in bulldozing the environment - in all these facets there will be no clarification because as per them these are 'development'.

and the too-much communist of the not-so-communist party, he goes a step further saying india needs green power. nuclear power by any means is not green power and nuclear power by any means is not a environment friendly power. is he alluding to the nuclear industry in categorizing nuclear power as green power?

as per the honorable CM, " We just can’t avoid nuclear power". of course we can. there are many green ways to do it in all spheres right from policy, to implementation, to regulation. if only elected representatives like him listen to what the ngo's and non government energy experts, there are lot of ways in which we can not only avoid nuclear power but also become hugely green in the way we live and use our energy.

and the parting shot comes from him and i quote, "We Communists are not fools; we are realists and learn from changes taking place elsewhere in the world."

if the communists do not know where they stand with respect to the dangerous and west rejected nuclear power, they will be what the CM does not want them they to be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

as this blog might have shown, i am not a big fan of big business. especially big business that abuse the environment and marginalized people, in name of 'development'.

when it comes to development, the comments by the business honchos of india are also shocking and irrelevant. their very factories slam a river or destroy the forests, but the same CEO will be participating in 'CII-Sustainable Environmental workshop' or their very foundation will be giving 'XYZ award on environment conservation'.

but i want to bring the comments from industrialist swraj paul on india-nuclear deal. he hits the bulls eye when he says the india america nuclear deal is irrelevant because much more than this proper reforms for india's business is needed. (i would like to add proper environmental regulations also to the reforms so that india does not become another toxic toy shop like china). and even in terms of electricity generation, nuclear power in india is low single digits (3000mw out of 1lakh mw) and also even with 40k mw proposed with nuclear plants, it will be less than 10% - a figure that can be achieved with electricity conservation, solar, green buildings, cutting down on t&d losses, etc.

i think he must be wondering the huge effort india is putting on this deal. if this effort is put on many other things in terms of power generation, we could have achieved far more results.

and another angle he brings is that with huge number of nuclear plant (atleast several tens if not hundreds) to produce the 40K mw electricity, what is the impact on this in case of a terrorist attack. we all know india is not america when it comes to anti terrorism efforts.

and he hits it rightly again when he says western world does not care about the deal. how true. only the nuclear industry lobby of western world is worried about the deal. most of the others in the west do not. for they are the one's who have rejected new nuclear power plants in their own communities.

let's give kudos to swraj paul and let he also speak honestly about india's degrading environment due to fake development policies of the government and industries.

the long debated and destructive athirapally hydel power project is on news again. with our beloved ministry of non-forests and non-environment (mo-ne-nf), granting it clerance, the destructive hydel dam has got a life on its own.

looks like anywhere there is a river, there is a dam being proposed/bulldozed/built. if ever a poem was written it would be like,
dam dam india
damn damn environment
develop develop india
pamper pamper the rich
if ain't no dam
it ain't no river
if ain't no destruction
it ain't no development
brutalize, bulldoze the feeble
shower, socialize the rich

downtoearth article also illustrates the plausibility of the project. With an improper EIA, fake river flow data, hyped up electricity generation figures, discounting the huge loss to the endemic kadar tribals, the forests and the wildlife, stabbing the huge tourism industry, killing one of the majestic waterfalls of the world - this athirapally project is the one of the hallmarks of fake development in south india.

let us be clear on one thing. this 'development' is not development but destruction. destruction of environment, destruction of truth, destruction of people who depend on the chalakudy river, stabbing of tourism livelihood amongst others.(the majestic athirapally waterfalls in the crucial chalakudy river in kerala. facing an uncertain future amidst fake development)

Friday, September 14, 2007

we all know of india's cities. india cities, especially in this software boom era, is one of main engines of indian economy. providing jobs, money flow, livelihood for many millions of people, these areas are also crowded, congested, heavily polluted and energy sucking monsters.

out of all important urban issues, air pollution in cities rank amongst the top. with poor emission control regime coupled with auto industry willful negligence to go latest in emissions, adulterated fuel, massive 2 wheelers, rich people cars - all of these make cities choking hells.

couple of youngsters led by Nikhil Eldurkar a software engineer are telling that cycling to work is not only good for health but also for environment. and to be an example he cycles from jaynagar to marthahalli, a whopping 17 kms.

without offense to nikhil, i for sure wont suggest this. if you were to cycle this much why not relocate to marthahalli or at least central or close to it. but what nikhil has bought up is that cycling in cities can be a huge boom in terms of cutting down emissions, air pollution and congestion.

in our urban planning (if at all there is a plan) there is only planning made for cars, cars and more cars so that each and every inch of the road is tarred with decades old trees even cut down. for sustainable growth of urban areas, the planning should focus on cycling routes, communities, apartment clusters, etc that can be easily used for commuting by bicycle, tax rewards for bicycle usage, special recognition of cyclists on the road, cycle lanes, etc.

in modern days when green is the go thing, bicycle should be the king of sustainable development.

after the just and longest fast in sikkim history, to protest against the indiscriminate dam building in sikkim, the protesters broke their fast based on the sikkim chief minister personal appeal that the demands of the protesters will be considered and breaking of fast will pave for a peaceful atmosphere to conduct talks.

but the protesters led by affected citizens of sikkim (ACT) continued their relay strike. the government, we all know what it will do, gleefully constiuted the committee with mostly yes men. the chief secretary probably under orders from CM, is head of the committee and one of crucial demands of lepchas that at least 50% of the members should be from outside state and that too notable environmentalists have conveniently been discarded.

no wonder lepchas are announcing a sequence of events to protest further along with further relay hunger strikes.

this scenario was expected. from tamilnadu onto kerala to gujarat onto madhya pradesh to west bengal, individual governments are running after industries, big construction companies, skewing environment policies, displacing people - all for 'development'.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

close to u.r.ananthamurthy's valid outbursts against the energy guzzling malls of bangalore, there was another unrelated story that shows how malls in maharastra are asked to pay more for the electricity they use.

this is a pleasant and welcome surprise. malls, glass walled energy sucking software companies, huge industrial offices that don't allow an iota of light or air inside their rooms, government departments that are pitch dark even in mid afternoon when sun outside hits you at 100 degrees, mysore palace that wastes electricity every night by using the old lightning system of bulbs, etc - all need to be taxed more.

by taxing more, these luxury components will make a habit of saving electricity. not only that the energy authorities should step back and slap a separate building energy tax for buildings that are not built with green standards (standards like LEED or common sense green standards).

kishore biyani the multi crore mall entrepreneur sounds funny when he says and i quote "So this is the public space that people come to in their spare time to meet others and have a good relaxing time"

and precisely this 'relaxation' is screwing up our forests, rivers, coastal regions, etc to pump more energy. more energy for leading a fancy, unsustainable life - called relaxing by the CEO though.

let us be clear. with pollution, global warning, slamming of ecosystems and their people the rule of the game has changed. if you want to guzzle energy in care free manner you should be prepared to pay 100% more taxes. if you want to save money, you can always go green and not only save money but also save our ecosystems.
(kishore biyani's pantaloon 'relaxation' mall. 'relaxation' for urban rich means destruction for our ecosystems on which millions of poor people live. when will ceo's like kishore realise that doing business green not only means 'sustainable relaxation', but also saves money and protects our fragile and abused ecosystem)

blacksmith institute based in america, has published a study in which they have attempted to identify the list of most polluted place on earth.

not surprisingly, nearly a third of those places are in india and the communist-party/dictator-run china. and one of the interesting fact is that out of the places identified, four places in China and India in Blacksmith's "Dirty Thirty" where pollution potentially affects the lives of more than a million people.

more than a million people in just 4 places getting royally screwed due to 'development'. what was once fertile agricultural lands, thriving rivers, mangrove estuaries are now rotten industrial toxics dump. it will be shocking to go through the identified spots in south asia, with the pride being india. from gujarat onto tamilnadu onto orissa onto west bengal, each and every state ecosystem has been royally raped in name of toxic development.

as this blog has chronicled, india (and china) is a pet place for red tag industries like chemicals, cement, sponge iron, tanneries, textiles, mining which all operate with joyful abandon, all in name of development.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

when a legend speaks, people listen. when a literary legend speaks, people not only listen but also takes notice. with the protests against chamalapura coal power plant (planned near mysore in karnataka state) gathering strength, legendary writers like U.R.Ananthamurthy is raising their voice against the coal power plants.

from cuddalore, to tadadi, to dahanu, coal power plants are controversial as it is being proposed in large scale in vital areas where tens of thousands of rural people live, eat, drink and sleep.

no wonder, all these 'development' projects is up against strong local protests, protests that neither politicians nor the electricity guzzling urban elite can understand.

with the ratchet being built for nuclear deal and hence tens and possibly hundreds of power plants, the government seems to have discounted people and ecology all together assuming that all people of india will welcome the nuclear 'development' that will benefit only the energy guzzling urban and semi urban rich people.

the legend hits in the head when he says and i quote "Yes, we need electricity but not to run our luxurious malls, five star hotels and theatres. Electricity is being wasted there. With the power being consumed by two big malls of Bangalore, we can meet the requirement of a taluk. This is sin. We have to fight it. We need electricity for essential purposes and I think we have enough electricity for our needs. I think we should stop supplying power to malls and five star hotels because it is vulgar. There should be an end to such waste in a poor country. This is not sustainable civilisation.”

he is right 200%. it is a national shame that the 2 big malls (forum and garuda malls i guess) in bangalore eating up entire electricity of a taluk where tens of thousands of people live.

we are not against malls coming in. but we are against malls that guzzle electricity, malls that encroach public lands, malls that comes brutally throwing out farmers in name of SEZ. infact there should be a mall building code which will cut down electricity, water usage, etc in a dramatic fashion and will have to be built as green malls before they can be money making malls. and those malls and other 'luxury resorts' that signifies india's 'development' has to have their own solar power generating units apart from green building codes so that they can be 100% self sufficient in terms of their day to day operations.

if you can recall tadadi coal power plant looks almost stunned by the local protests there and it will be interesting to see how chamalapura protests emerges and the role of the literary legend in it. and increasing cases like this shows that the government needs to jump start alternative energy, energy conservation, mandatory building codes, cut down t&d losses in war footing mode.(the literary legend U.R.Ananthamurthy is raising his voice against the mysore chamalapura coal power plant. will the policy makers listen to his passionate call for sustainable development )

sandrp newsletter has a telling story of how careless, reckless and useless india has become when it comes to dam maintenance.

once called temples of modern india, these dams have become monsters of modern india. monsters that upper rich class of india crave for, monsters that cement companies, steel companies and construction companies lobby for, monsters that policy makers and politicians call as 'development'.

the jaswant sagar dam, one of many numerous old dams of india, has seldom been maintained. like fake development policies of india, the symbols of those policies are also superficial. the jaswant sagar dam burst caused widespread destruction and death which could have been prevented by basic parameters of maintenance.

the same article shows how america took care. the dam in this case is the taum sauk dam in missouri and several agencies of dam safety/regulation took several steps to make sure process is put in place as not to repeat the incident.

in india, we simply don't care. most of times, the people who want to talk about development of india tell 'india needs to grow like america'. what they forget in america is that environment, regulation, monitoring, error correction are much more stricter and adhered to when it comes to infrastructure projects. in india, all these parameters are the things that are to be thrashed in name of 'development'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

there was a nice little writeup on the dhamra port issue of orissa in sanctuaryasia magazine. orissa, as you might be aware, is trying to be 'more developed' so that its forests, coasts, rivers, tribals, mountains etc can be bulldozed whereas steel, iron, bauxite, etc can be mined easily at will adding to gdp figure.

many reports have highlighted the fallacy of orissa 'development' efforts and this write up focuses on the proposed dhamra port in orissa.

ecological foot print of dhamra region looks very significant and more efforts should have been done to protect it and also there seems to be several alternatives to the dhamra port as given in the article.

none of these will matter to the america returned orissa chief minister who cares a damn about environment and people. all that matters to him and his officers are 'development'.

sometimes some news are shocking to read. sometimes some articles written is shocking to read if its is minus logic and human touch. there are somethings that are numbing to read and its numbing because by the time you are reading you go far beyond shock phase.

the same thing happened to me as i read union minister of textiles remarks on farmers suicide in vidarbha region of maharastra. it seems he called debt-ridden, suicidal cotton growers of Vidharbha lazy and incompetent.

that's right. those farmers who committed suicide to fake development policies, cricket focussed absentee agriculture minister, massive debt due to wrong financial policies towards agriculture sector, high input costs on toxic chemicals and pesticides are lazy, incompetent and cowards.

whereas the very minister who is a minister because of the fact that people elected him in first place and whose government is only for the rich, richer and richest, all in name of development.

stomach turning, shocking, mind numbing, etc are not even the words to describe one's feeling when reading irresponsible statements like this. no wonder the latest central government should rename itself as the government of the richies of india via fake development policies.
(poor indian farmer is not only poor but also incompetent and lazy. had he been a urban indian he would be smart and suave and will be able to access 4.0% apr loan for honda city car.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

what happens when a communist-admirer turned entrepreneur meets a communist veteran.

in previous india, sparks will fly. now in modern india, they talk about employment. that's what happened when infosys chief, its ceo and kerala chief minister met together last week.

they talked about jobs and i guess hopefully they talked about how to harness the engineers from kerala to do innovative work in infosys in trivandrum, kochi and kozhikode. hopefully they talked about kerala with its amazing culture, beautiful coasts, stunning western ghats region can become another california in terms of software innovation. hopefully they talked so that millions of kerala youth who migrate can stay and contribute to kerala.

and hopefully the kerala chief minister also told that giving 1000 acres in trivandrum central is not possible (and also should not be done as it will convert a software major into a real estate major) and space in metros of kerala is at a premium and there is a big section of urban poor who also needs state support. hopefully kerala chief minister talked about infosys being a partner in real development versus a demanding corporate entity that wants everything irrespective of the cost.

with karnataka, tamilnadu and andhra forging ahead in software area, it is high time for kerala to kick in with its strength and tell the world that its moment, albeit late, has arrived.

we have been tracking the local reactions to the 'development' of power blasting, india-nuclear manna from heaven deal, coal power plants from tadadi, udupi, mysore, etc.

amidst this is the recent fast and aggressive moves by tamilnadu government on coal power plant front to setup a 1300 mw coal power plant in cuddalore (apart from having 4000 mw ultra mega power plant, that too 2 in number in the gorgeous village of cheyyur in east coast road).

sipcotcuddalore blog has put in a story about the public hearing in cuddalore on the 1300 mw power plant. if you are aware for any monster/mega/development kind of project, a honest public hearing (wherein local people can ask questions and express concerns) and a open, transparent environmental impact assessment (eia) is needed.

it looks like more than 1500 people from nearby areas of cuddalore vent their frustration on the plans of coal power plant which will no doubt screw up the livelihood (already impacted by brutal pollution) of several tens of thousands of marginalized people in the sipcot cuddalore region.

tamilnadu is a pioneer in wind power generation. it is high time they crank up on more wind power along with mandatory green building concepts, mandatory industrial conservation, mandatory software building codes, solar power generation, cutting down on t&d losses etc.

in order to benefit a tiny section of urban elite, more and more 'dirty development' should not be thrust upon the already beleaguered rural people.
(angry local people in front of collector and other officers during the 1300 mw coal power plant public hearing in cuddalore, tamilnadu. picture courtesy sipcotcuddalore blog )

Sunday, September 09, 2007

something interesting happened last week in supreme court. moef, which should act as protectors and conservator of forests and india's other ecosystems, went to supreme court telling that an important pillar of such protection is not needed.

it is like telling that a human body's brain telling the heart is not needed. it is telling a mother does not need her second child but needs the first one. worst, it is like one stabbing oneself in the stomach telling i don't need the stomach.

i am putting the update from forestcaseupdate group. pretty depressing and shocking is the behavior of moef wherein they are telling that they dont need the central empowered committee (cec) which was constituted by supreme court itself.

supreme court correctly refused to buy this bogus argument and extended cec term indefinitely. if moef had its way, it will tell it does not need any forests, rivers and mountains and all of this can be given to our industries for development. development of those industrial captains of course.


In a severe setback to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Supreme Court extended the term of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) till further orders. The Ministry of Environment and Forests in its affidavit stated that it was not in favour of retired as well as serving officers continuing in the CEC. The Solicitor General representing the Ministry of Environment and Forests, stated that the powers given to the CEC were such wide that it would give rise to misuse of powers to which Justice Arijit Pasayat asked the Solicitor General to state instances where the CEC has misused its powers, to which the SG had no explanation. The Supreme Court stated that the CEC is needed in order to assist it in deciding forest matters and therefore the Court is free to continue with the CEC and if the MoEF does not extend the tenure by issuing a notification under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Supreme Court can surely do it.

Harish Salve, Amicus Curiae stated that the short point of the submission of the MoEF is that the CEC has become a nuisance for the Government. According to the MoEF, the Ministry has sufficient trained scientific and trained officials who are there to render expert advise and that it is capable of ensuring implementation of the orders of the Court. It therefore submitted that ‘further continuation of the CEC under Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 is no longer required.

Finally, the Court while extending the term of the CEC indefinitely directed that if there are any issues with respect to the some terms and condition, the same may be sorted out through a meeting of the Amicus Curiae and the Solicitor General.

Friday, September 07, 2007

one thing that happens when 'development' happens in rural area is that the ecosystem of the area gets slammed.

take for example villages in perundurai in middle tamilnadu. perundurai is in erode district of tamil nadu and as such is facing huge issues due to textile and dyeing units that care a damn about environment and its workers health.

a 400 acre lake called balathozhuvu is virtually useless due to massive pollution due to discharge of effluents from dyeing and processing units from sipcot.

the name sipcot, i guess, should raise fear, chaos and disaster in the villages located around it. promoted by tamilnadu govt, the objective of sipcot is to give land and other facilities for industries. this very nature makes it agnostic to the villagers around sipcot who suffer heavily just like cuddalore and now in perundurai.

this vital lake is now a dangerous place because of pollution and this causes massive water issues and because of the absence of drinking water, residents of a few villages cycle at least two km to fetch water.

and as per hindu, for others in the villages, Cauvery water is supplied by the respective panchayats but that comes only in a week or 10 days and that too for a few hours. (tell that to a urban elite that he will get water only once in a week and watch is reaction..LOL)

this pollution has stunned small ponds, ground water system, agriculture and hence the entire ecosystem.

poor villagers, they do not know that india's gdp is 9.3% as per their honorable finance minister who wants to push it to 10% of course by proposing more dyeing and textile units in perundurai.
(the polluted 400 acre massive balathozhuvu Lake, water source for six panchayats, is now useless due to wilful and easy pollution by dyeing and textile units. all in name of 'development'. picture copyright hindu)

this blog has been tracking the lopsided development of india for past several months.

the development policies of indian government egged on by new urban upper middle class and select sections of industrial captains have been going more focussed on enabling the rich to become more rich.

this extra richness is achieved by abuse of environmental laws, forced acquisition of farmers land, absolute neglect of agriculture sector - wherein the agriculture minister sees it fit to travel international for cricket meetings but does not see it fit to travel and understand agricultural issues -, dangerous and skewed policies such as SEZ, maniac mining policies and don't care attitude on massive illegal mining affecting our forests, river and our very culture, mega projects being bulldozed with proper environmental impact assessment, stakeholder public hearings, etc, the list is virtually endless.

sainath is eloquent when he says that it is better to be a poor person in Botswana than in India. and he very validly questions why over 1 lakh farmers killed themselves. does it not point to something really bad in terms of policy, planning, execution and monitoring.

when nearly 800 million people live on less than 20 rupees a day whereas rest 20% and within this top 10% live a royal life (note that this life is not only due to their hard work - a la capitalistic way, but also due to massive skewed up help from the government as listed in the 3rd para in this blog posting) does it not point something that india needs to adjust in terms of how we view development. not something but many things need to be viewed/adjusted to make sure these 800 million also have an inclusive growth.

and the icing on the cake of how bad the polices are is the sad and grim reality that the government can push SEZ brutally in just 6 months but land reforms (which can be vital for rural development lifting many millions out of poverty) and ecological security is left in limbo for past several decades.

development for the urban elite is SEZ and other goodies. for the rest 800 million real development is still to come.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

one of parameters of a thriving, sustainable, viable, lively community/society/state/country is its arts & culture. if food is for the body, arts & culture is for the soul. as body is important so is soul.

many countries take the soul very seriously. and as part of that focus, they make sure their arts, dance, handicrafts, monuments, museum, historical buildings, forts, artifacts, etc are preserved and nourished.

we can hand india a poor score even on this front. as various state government compete against one another to attract investment in form of software sector, red tag industries such as chemical industries, leather industries, cement, mining and smelting, etc they forget that it is the mandate of the government also to protect and nourish the various arts & cultural verticals.

as hindu businessline points out in their picture (of charminar in hyderabad) india's monument is also a sign of decay and that decay is direct result of maniac focus on fake development.
(charminar in hyderabad. soot and vehicular exhaust are now the friends of charminar, just they are the friends of fake development)

lot of times words like 'volunteer', 'cleanup', 'liabilities', 'willingness not obligation' can be very useful words. even in person to person talk or in team meetings, these words can be used very cleverly to score brownie points on your side.

but these words can also stink and show your stinking intentions if used in a bad situation. dow chemicals, which acquired union carbide - the perpetrator of the worst industrial tragedy of the world (bhopal gas disaster of 1984) where tens of thousands were killed instantaneously and several thousands still live a bad life due to health disasters - is using these words thinking it is very clever.

how else will you categorize the following:
has volunteered to pay for cleaning up the Bhopal gas disaster site as long as it is not slapped with the legal liabilities of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC).

Official sources told ET that Dow has indicated its willingness to pay, but it should not be seen as an obligation.

let us all be clear here. dow since it acquired union carbide acquire 'all' of union carbide. profits/losses/employees/factories/disasters/etc. to tell that dow is not related to bhopal tragedy because the previous owner union carbide perpetuated it is like telling that 'i did not commit the murder but my hand committed the murder'.

and to pacify dow it seems the who's who of india including rata tata, reliance, chemicals ministry, legal ministry, etc are standing in line.

and the piece of the cake comes when dow says "The global petrochemical major sees the cleaning-up as an act of corporate social responsibility."

god, from when did the word social responsibility become such a bad 4 letter word. cant the dow top management have some spine and accept moral responsibility of the disaster and be honest with the affected people of bhopal and cleanup/rehabilitate/take care of health and livelihood issues of the thousands of bhopali gas victims.

and cant indian govt stand up and say the same thing because the people who died are not foreigners but fellow poor indian citizens.

in order to bring in global corporations not only our forests, rivers, coasts and environmental laws being thrown apart but also even basic human laws and rules is being kept aside so as to facilitate dow investments to india by blindly ignoring the disaster called bhopal/

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

our honorable minister of mining mr.t.subbarai reddy has a unique idea. as his official post tells, he want people of kerala to mine more and attain prosperity.

and looks like as per his statements they have to mine for china clay, illmenite, zircon, gold mining, sea sand mining among the ways in which mining can bring 'prosperity' to india. basically it looks he wants to mine every forest, every river, every sea bed and much more

and to bring prosperity, good working conditions, elimination of child labor in mines, to pursue good environmental practices, to increase gdp, etc his central government has opened the door of mining to multinational companies. (please control your laughter though)

and on top of these, new mining policies are on the anvil which will make investments (and hence 'development' i guess) in mining sector a very easy thing.

and last but not the least, he played down the possibility that large scale mining will damage environment and the reason he seems to be given is that 'new mining technology' will make mining environmentally safe activity.

i am glad not many keralites read this article and will be even more glad if not many keralites follow the minister remarks.

india's mining sector is a rogue one throwing all caution to wind causing displacement, destruction and environmental damage to wherever they are located. kerala already under huge environmental assault will do well to stay away from this 'developmental' ideas of our minister.

when it comes to pollution (which is abundant in india in urban areas and more dangerously in rural areas via chemical factories, coal mines, leather tanniers, smelting units, ship breaking yards like alang, etc) - which is the symbol of india's 'development' - one of the common questions is that how to 'prove' that pollution in pollution zones (cuddalore, silver corridor-gujarat, mettur, eloor, patancheru, etc) and industrial zones (where pollution monitoring is virtually non existent) in fact truly affects the people livin there directly.

in the pollution hot spot of eloor (kerala) an interesting study/analysis has been done and it shows that "residues were found in food articles such as milk, fish, chicken and duck meat, coconut, banana, papaya, curry leaves and a host of other items produced by Eloor residents in their homes and backyards."

the point to be noted is that this kind of monitoring is precisely the job of pollution control board (both state and central), which is almost like a dead body in its functioning and hence the 'proof' at each and every turn is in the lap of the affected communities itself.

the argument is 'india has to develop', 'gdp is important', 'ngo's and some local people are against development', etc in order to banish the protests from local people on the dangerous pollution levels. not only the argument, the cases in cuddalore, eloor, etc the 'proof' unfairly and unjustly is in the midst of poor local communities who not only face harassment, pollution, but also 'burden' of proof - all in the name of 'development'.(pollution hot spot of eloor in kerala. it is shocking to see the progressive state of kerala, where human parameters is one of the advanced in the world, tolerate such willful pollution which affects tens of thousands of keralites directly)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

amidst the little cool down in the 'nuclear war' between congress and the not-so-left left parties, one thing is a sure casualty. facts. facts backed by truth, due diligence, past experience, ground reality, etc.

no wonder our finance minister turned politician turned prime minister harps on the nuclear deal with america as the 'mantra' for 'new india'.

he has listed several reasons why india should go nuclear full steam ahead in spite of america throttled back on any new nuclear power plants for past 30 years.

some of his reasons are,

the foremost being that it could enable the country to double its modest target of nuclear power to 40,000 MWe by 2020.
please check the point from b.s.raghavan article. this 40,000 mw is a utopian dream as utopian as india building the next f-16!!!!

“This will signal the end of our international isolation of the past few decades. India is now too important a country to remain outside the international mainstream in this critical area,” he said here.

india's isolation especially in nuclear field was mainly in part due to the 98 pokhran tests. further with russia and america being nuclear powerhouses who closely guard their nuclear skill sets, it will be a huge dream that they will transfer these skills to india so that india can become nuclear 'mainstream'

We do not enjoy the luxury of an either/or choice. India needs energy from all known and likely sources of energy.”
absolutely. india needs more energy. but this energy debate has become 'more and more energy' rather than sustainable energy, renewable energy, improving the cleanliess and efficiency of our coal power plants, improving on the massive t&d losses, making mandatory green building concepts, making provisions for climate change in each and every project work in india that can have an impact. instead of all this india's elite seems that nuclear nirvana is the best of them all. for seldom they realise that nuclear nirvana for upper rich class of india is nuclear disasters for tens of lakhs of coastal people where these nuclear power plants will in all likelihood be located.

The energy generated had to be affordable “not only in terms of its financial cost but also in terms of the cost to our environment.” is the biggest joke. please see pointer from b.s.raghavan article. nuclear power will be the most expensive per mega watt cost of producing electricity and nuclear power is so outcast that no community in america is willing to accept new nuclear plants so bad that there is not even a single new nuclear plant built in past 30 years although our iraqi war zero president bush is trying to change this.

Nuclear power was recognised as an important and environmentally benign constituent of the overall energy mix.
who told so. american communities or american nuclear industry? did we check with people of koodamkulam who are opposing (and in process getting crushed). did we check with people of tadadi, udupi, cuddalore who are opposing even coal power plants for pollution fears.

“There is today a talk the world over of a nuclear renaissance and we cannot afford to miss the bus or lag behind these global developments.”
i have not heard the talk. american communities have not heard the talk. several european countries have not heard the talk. i don't know where this talk comes from. perhaps from p.chidamabaran and montek singh ahuwalia who want gdp growth at all costs.

columnist b.s.raghavan of hindu in a small but powerful article explodes the myth of nuclear india. from his words,
Going by the track record of Atomic Energy Department and the Nuclear Power Corporation, there is absolutely no chance of having on the ground 40,000 MWs by 2020 as fondly hoped for by the Prime Minister.

In fact, expert estimates have never assumed more than 20,000 MWs in the next two decades. By that time the total installed capacity from all sources of power might be around 250,000 MWs (or doube what it is today), of which the percentage of nuclear power might come barely to 10 per cent or less.

Taking into account transportation costs, the installation fee, maintenance and service charges, and the like, as on date, a megawatt of nuclear power takes a minimum of Rs 10 crore to build, and allowing for inflation and rise in administrative and material costs, it may well exceed Rs 15 crore by 2020. Which means that in order to build 20,000 MWs India needs to allocate Rs 300,000 crore, at the rate of Rs 15,000 crore per year, for the next 20 years.Even if the private sector gears itself to supplement the Government’s effort (a big ‘if’ considering the evidence of the interest shown so far), mobilisation on such a massive scale is extremely problematic.

let everybody be honest and do the due diligence correctly, openly and truthfully on the nuclear deal from all angles namely environment, finance, coastal community impact, security, etc. it will be all to clear that this deal is a fake deal which will only benefit the nuclear industry, nuclear lobbyists and their cohorts. if the energy that has been put on the nuclear deal had been put on several sustainable parameters outlined in this article, india's energy situation will be much better off rather than the utopian illusions.

well all know about zero. yes the same 0 that adds value to 1 to 9 numbers. the same zero that india supposedly invented. the same 0 that is crucial for mathematics.

we also know that when it comes to environmental policies, vision, guidelines, enforcements, violation tackling's, leadership india's policymakers and ministry of environment and forests (moef) score a virtual zero by their non performance. a zero which nobody can be proud of.

what has zero to do with this blog posting. it has to do because a study by ngo environment protection group based in orissa has evaluated the performance of mp's in parliament in past 3 years with respect to environment, protected areas, etc and found out that the performance of these elected officers are a virtual zero.

to quote from the study the zero is as zero as "Biodiversity or wildlife conservation related questions constitute only 0.86 percent."

well 0.86 is not actually zero and i beg your pardon. to tell that performance of mp's in parliament when it comes to keeping the committee's, ministries, policymakers of environment/forests is 'dismal' is the understatement of the decade.

i agree though on one thing. when fake development is all nice, real parameters of true development is all dismal and disheartening.