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 )


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