Friday, July 18, 2008

as india's mindless mining development continues, the niyamgiri hills in orissa which is under brutal assault from proposed mining from vedanta plc, shows you the classic example of how fake india's development is coming at the cost of ecosystems and tribals.

bbc has a story here.

and there is a funny line from the chief operating officer of vedanta. i quote,
"The only problem is they haven't been developed, once we start exploiting these ores, the day is not far away when we will see the same development in Orissa as we see in Australia."

oh yeah right baby. australia? huh? they told the same thing in tuticorin when the same group started operations and on which there are huge allegations. they told the same thing when their group company is merry polluting cauvery in mettur. many of their counterpart industries have been telling 'next america', 'next sweden' to india's middle class for a long time.

but 'next australia'. we like it. don't we? as the tribals and ecosystem rot in hell, we can create our own little australia's in our own little residential communities in the urban areas where the benefits of this development will finally reach.

i want to tell some basic things here okay.

1. the prime minister of india has been elected by people of india and as per the constitution of india has every duty to satisfy the basic needs of the people.
2. to serve and to protect is the paramount duty of the prime minister of india.
3. to work for the upliftment of the most weak and marginalized communities of india, is one of the main tasks for electing such a high post leader.

well, for past several weeks, the bhopalis who have been affected by pollution will laugh if you tell the above to them. the prime minister has not even come to meet them for a few minutes inspite of huge struggle by the bhopalis who are in hunger strike in delhi.

but our prime minister in a drop of the hat had huge time to meet the head of reliance industries, who came to the prime minister office due to the sudden proximity his brother got due to the changing political alliance in delhi for india america nuclear bhai bhai deal.

as for the bhopalis, who have suffered the world's deadliest industrial pollution and are STILL not compensated? let them rot in hell. india needs development. ain't it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

you might want to catch up on the massive multi hundred crore (perhaps potentially multi thousands crore ) 'science' project called "india based neutrino observatory" in one of the most vital tiger and wildlife habitats of india.

the hindu magazine this sunday had a news item on it. you can also check on some of the previous links on this. google search also can help you and this is the official website about the project and here is the faq section

hindu also carried an item which had the question tiger or science and the scientists responded with their own rejoinder.

for a massive 'science' project like this, it was funny to see the response for movement of trucks as follows:
This will be a small addition to the existing traffic average of 5-6 vehicles per HOUR in the daytime from Singara to Masinagudi and more than 100 vehicles per DAY one way from Bandipur towards Mudumalai/Theppakadu, on the route to be traversed by the trucks.

the alliance that is fighting this project has a detailed response on this rejoinder and the entire story. the blog captures nicely all the details.

for 6 vehicles per hour story, here is the point on that from the blog .
The INO figure of 6 trucks per day is not based on any scientific calculation. Using the figures given on the INO website, we have calculated that the volume of the hill to be excavated is 225,000 cubic
metres. The density of granite being about 2.8g/cc, there will be 630,000 tons of debris. At the rate of 6 round trips (which involves 12 disturbances through the forests) in 8 ton trucks (the current road cannot
handle larger trucks) it will take about 36 years to move these 630,000 tons. If, as the scientists have stated half of the debris will be reused in the building of the tunnel etc, this still means it will take them 18
years. Storing the debris is not a solution.

well, the scientists will keep on transporting the debris forever instead of concentrating on their 'science', i guess.

and the sad fact is that western ghats forests is already abused by several national highways that cut through vital forest areas, new highways being planned, massive unsustainable dams being planned, sudden electricity lines being proposed through forests, massive illegal mining, etc. if it is india's forests everything is good to go. let the party on baby!!!!

if you see the nike soccer ad that is very famous in youtube, an european player (for a team playing against devils) will have a remark. that remark is

"may be they are friendly".

to which the other player will have a curious and amused look.

from the emerging leader and potential future prime minister rahul gandhi, it looks like we have to give a curious look to him on his india america nuclear deal enthusiasm.

how else could we see his gung ho remarks that is not based on even 1% facts but 100% slogannering.

may be he is priming himself to take over the prime minister-ship sooner than latter and is driving with the india america nuclear team.

but let me tell you one thing. nuclear power is definitely not a friendly or an easy power. there are thousands of questions right from ecology to safety to waste management to capabilities, etc and it is simply not a manna from heaven.

well, we have to give rahulji the curious looks anyways for his nuclear enthusiasm.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

as the india america nuclear deal escalates into a political gamesmanship, the crucial issue of nuclear power sustainability and its impact on india's fragile ecosystem per se has been ignored.

this blog has highlighted india's abysmal management of pollution and india's track record in uranium mining in jadugoda in orissa has been a huge shocker for a land that prides itself as the land of buddha and gandhi.

and the industry is obviously elated as they can rake in the moolah in name of building dangerous toxic nuclear power plants.

there is a fantastic article and that too by a industry insider (former europe director of cii) in hindu. i was pleasantly surprised on how the article analyzed the situation in europe and urging india to consider the dangers of nuclear power, the manna from heaven!!!

this blog has severely opposed india america nuclear deal on couple of major factors namely,
* india's track record in managing even basic industrial pollution is abysmal.
* india's track record in uranium mining has been absymal
* india's building of dirty coal power plants itself comes admist severe opposition in many coastal areas and building tens and tens of nuclear power plants will sure invite huge protests
* india's 3000 mw (this is 3% of total electricity of india) at present from nuclear power shows clearly there is NO expertise to fall back on, even if india america nuclear deal comes through.
* india's grid has been badly mutilated with 30% t&d losses and this nuclear power also will be wasting this way unless there is a huge effort to cut down t&d losses to low single digits
* india's solution not lies in following the western model of spend more and more but rather than in preserving ecology and making sure hundreds of millions of rural poor can lead a sustainable lives thereby india's cities and urban areas can lead sustainable lives. this nuclear power plants will act one more straw on camel's back brutalizing our ecosystems.

kudo's to mr.mohan murthi on a very balance article that tells india to pause before commiting a massive leap. a leap so big in terms of finance, in terms of impact on eco system, in terms of national security, that any other country will shudder to do it at one swipe as indian government is planning.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

loot, kill, murder, displace, hit in the stomach - these can be the some of the correct terms that define the fake development in india.

kill - ya we in india like this. when somebody questions corruption, questions pollution, questions fake environmental impact assessment, this methodology in the land of gandhiji, is an often used tool.

2 ground level champions of rural poor were given this gift. when lalit mehta was killed, it was not just killing.

His mutilated body and a belt around his neck suggested he was strangled and his face smashed to deform it beyond recognition. The police buried the body as unidentified the same day. It was later exhumed by his colleagues and taken to his native village, where his last rites were performed.

mutilation - that is what happened to lalit mehta and that is what happening india's poor, tribals and vital ecosystem in name of fake development.

this blog has repeatedly pointed out the fake development that is happening in india. in india's rural areas, forests, rivers, coastal areas and other vital eco systems, huge unprecedented abuse is happening in name of 'development'.

sunita narain's latest editorial "stink of india's steel frame", captures this horror. india's poor rich industries are thriving at a HUGE cost to india's tribals and ecosystem. quoting from the editorial,

This is the cheap and dirty industrialisation model that we love to thrive upon. In this case, nobody can argue that this industry is poor, small and desperate and so environmental regulations will cost. In this case, industry is highly lucrative; it involves the biggest names in corporate India. But still, as environmental standards would raise costs of production, why bother. After all, the affected villagers are voiceless. They will never make it to page 3 as steel barons will and do, day after day. All I can say is that India’s steel frame stinks.

in past 5 years, the amount of abuse in name of development is huge, so huge that indepedent india has never been assaulted so that rich get richer and poor gets slammed.

welcome to modern india. where 'don't ask, don't tell' is the mantra.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

i have repeatedly highlighted how india's river stands abused in the lunacy called illegal mining. latest hindu story on periyar river highlights it eloquently.

as the comrades have been tom toming the concern of india, its own rulers in kerala seems to be keen on acting deaf and dumb when it comes to its lifeline rivers.

well, fake development has no color. whether it is communist red or rightist saffron or centrist blue - all are fake colors.

i want to highlight some of the comments of atomic energy commission chairman, honorable Dr Anil Kakodkar here and with my comments inline.

“History will not forgive us” if this is not done now, the AEC Chief said, without naming the deal.
the chief seems to have gotten emotional forgetting the fact that nuclear energy, the manna from heaven, just gives 3000 mw or so in present 100K mw of india. this is just 3%. so there is no past history to talk about for sure!!!!!

“If India is unable to import nuclear reactors or nuclear fuel under international cooperation it must necessarily go for the import of coal to the tune of 1.6 billion tonnes in 2050 alone, unless solar capacity grows at even large levels.” Subjecting a large country to the vagaries of such large coal imports on a regular basis would have shocking economic effects, he said.

why is the chief talking about coal. why not,
a. go for solar power like florida and california is doing for large scale power plants
b. why not make green buildings MANDATORY for government offices, software companies, residential apartments and homes
c. why not make solar water heaters MANDATORY for all urban area provided a scale of economy is reached in the family
d. what about cutting the transmision and distribution loss which ranges a whoppping 30% or so out of 100k mw produced
e. what about fine tuning the massive network of hydel plants that stands on abused rivers
f. what about wind power, a hugely neglected area getting step motherly treatment.

India has one of the largest and best-quality reserves of thorium. Indian atomic scientists want to introduce thorium-based fuel in their FBRs — but this needs plutonium to kick-start the fission. Research is on to use thorium without uranium. Development of thorium-based reactors has been put on high priority.
ya. we all dream of thorium right. and like the tejas aircraft and arjun tank, thorium will be delivered one fine morning.

At the same time, DAE was “leaving no stone unturned” to find new uranium deposits — such as its efforts in Cuddapah basin, Mahadek basin in Meghalaya, the New Delhi fold belt, and in Rajasthan and Haryana. Construction of a 500-MWe prototype FBR was in full swing and its economics were being improved.
that's right. this is development of india. let's do mining in cuddapah, megahalaya amidst severe protest and pollute it dangerously like jadugoda.

mr.chief, we have no history to speak of and we have no facts to back also. in this mania called india america nuclear deal, all basic parameters of sustainable development has been thrown to hell and our future history will be zero as we embark on a fantasy called the india america nuclear deal.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

as oil prices shoot up, america is feeling the pinch as the oil guzzling country that has 5% of world population sucks dry close to 17 to 19 million barrel of the 85 million of oil per day.

of that 17 to 19 million barrel a good amount of the oil comes from niger delta, one of the most polluted parts on earth (of course given stiff competition by several locations in India) as per the 2006 world wildlife fund.

in his book, "curse of the black gold" by photo journalist ed kash, he probes this nasty side of the oil that runs the suv's, luxury vehicles, planes and other types of transportation in america and around the world.

when you pump the oil at the pump, don't alone think of your wallet. also think of the nasty pollution, human rights abuse, war lordism, brutal governance by nigeria authorities also. for then, you will start slowly to make a switch to public transport, smaller cars, hybirds and gradually to total gas (petrol) aversion.

Friday, July 04, 2008

there we go again sir. let me repeat it okay and you take notes.

1. india needs development and 10% growth.
2. new methods needed and agriculture alone cannot provide jobs
3. we need land for industries so that they setup real estate, recreation and hey of course industries in massive farmers land
4. inflation? damn, i get this question always. it is because of oil. if oil comes back to 100 dollars a barrel, man, i tell you inflation will fall to 5%. till then we have to live with like 12 to 15% inflation.
5. and hey last but not the least, there is criticism that indian government, in which i am managing the finance part, is neglecting farmers. i would like to clarify that we have not ignored tens of thousands of suicides by farmers, not ignored the zero water policy of india, not ignored the sorry state of rivers and waterbodies. so in order to reinforce our concern we announce 5000 crore rupees relief for farmers of tamilnadu.

well, check after 1 month, the same thing will be repeated by our honorable finance minister. he and his colleagues have been saying the same thing and will be saying the same thing in future.

as i had said in one of previous blogs, "in india, you can fool all the people all the time in name of fake development"

in india, they used to say, "science is dead, scientists are doing great". now we can add a line, "science and tigers are dead, scientists are doing great".

with fancy 'science' project going all around the place and india even lacks basic mechanisms to predict weather, cyclones, tidal waves, tsnumais, with india almost dependent entirely on foreign companies for r&d related drug product, and ranging from snow boots to army tanks india importing everything - the face of r&d and science looks way way bleak.

but you know when it comes to 'science', india is proud to tell they are really doing good. now indian government is proposing a project called "India-based Neutrino Observatory" very near mudumalai national forests in nilgris biosphere in tamilnadu.

as the article in the link tells clearly, this project that is being hushed into will destroy a very critical forest area and a vital tiger habitat.

hey, what are you talking man, we need 'development' and we need 'science'. tigers? well, they can live in zoo i guess!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

even as the indian government 'announces' global climate change policy and solar policy after years and years of deep sleep, it is busy opening up india's national forests and bird sanctuarise.

the latest is in kerala, where the not-so-left-communists are keen to attract 'development', even if that 'stone called' development can destroy the entire region.

well, if the cat can catch the mice, why bother whether the mice is white or black. if money can come by any means why bother what destruction it can cause?
(proposed stone quarrying site near thattekad bird sanctuary in ernakulam district. why care about mice as long as the cat can catch it?)

as oil price explode across the world, as oil addicted america gasps at the price, in india the reaction is bizarre.

the government which faced 8% inflation before oil explosion and now faces 11% due to oil price mismanagement, keeps on churning chicken and egg stories.

2 articles in hindu explain the sad story of india's callous mismanagement. this mis management falls squarely at the hands of the foreign educated finance minister and the prime minister.

1. as oil prices soared, the government fiddled thinking it can still buy super high prices and sell low. this had a brutal effect on oil and marketing companies threatening to wipe out any cash they had.
2. as oil prices hit record high, the government instead of passing on the market price quickly kept subsidizing car owners with excise tax relief and low oil prices
3. as oil prices started going up from 100 to 110, india's finance minister unveiled a grand budget that had zero focus on public transportation.
4. as oil prices stand at record high, the government has zero clue on how to handle it.

and our policy is busy such that rich companies like reliance is prospering at the cost of public oil companies and the public.
What compounded the problem of the oil companies — Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum — was the EOU (export oriented unit) status granted to the 33-million-tonne refinery of Reliance Industries in Jamnagar by the government in April 2007. What this seemingly harmless development did was to take away more than 11 million tonnes of diesel from the domestic market for supplies abroad.

This forced the public sector oil companies to import diesel to compensate for the loss of volumes from Reliance. In 2007-08, the oil companies imported 2.93 million tonnes of diesel at international market prices, while Reliance exported 11.46 million tonnes at the same international prices. This has led to heartburn for the oil companies — while they were making losses buying diesel abroad at market prices and selling below that, Reliance was able to export its own production at premium prices.

the government ought to have asked tough questions.
1. why does a car owner need low prices
2. why does more than 1 car owner families not pay 10 to 20% more than international prices
3. why does public transport be neglected and abused
4. why does government maintain huge fleet of cars and oil guzzling vehicles
5. why does not government bring parity quickly to international prices so that rich consumers who guzzle most of the oil can pay correct price
6. why socialism being practiced in the brutal oil area?
7. why does not government promote aggressive policies for urban transportation in the lines of singapore and london rather than being the poster child of car industry?

the end result? as public oil companies gasp for breath, the chain right from them to end consumer is slammed. and the government goes on to talk fake development at every turn ignoring vital economic management.