The government’s suspicion of ngos and the current controversy over the Koodankulam nuclear plant notwithstanding, Tamil Nadu is indeed going through a power crisis (Thy Foreign, Lying Hand, Great Anarch, Mar 12). My sister in Chennai is installing inverters powered by solar panels in her flat. When fully charged, the system can deliver 800W of power for up to four hours. The area of the panels is about two square metres, the cost about Rs 35,000. But can ordinary people afford it? R. Saroja, Mumbai
Can ngos keep on receiving crores of rupees of foreign funds and use it wholly for funding the protests at Koodankulam, as the government would have us believe? What was the ministry of finance and the banks doing all this time? Have they shown even a fraction of the keenness about the overseas funds that political parties receive? The Koodankulam nuclear reactor was announced in the ’80s and work began thereafter. Would I be right in saying that the reactor design dates from the ’70s? If the technology is so safe, why don’t the Russians and the US suppliers sign the liability agreement? If the government believes in this technology, why don’t they convert the Indraprastha thermal plant in Delhi to a showpiece nuclear one? Hemachandra Basappa, Bangalore
No wonder hypocrisy rhymes well with democracy. In India, there is just no transparency in the area of nuclear energy; the government clearly has vested interests. The nuclear industry is doomed as it has no way of dealing with radioactive waste, no country has solved this problem effectively, except to bury it in the sand and pass the mess on to unborn generations. Most vitally, India hasn’t the technical ability or the infrastructure to deal with a nuclear crisis. Srinivasan, Bangalore
So the media has fallen for the government’s antipathy to the ‘foreign’ hand. The catchphrase is not ‘foreign’; it is ‘anti-national’. Instead of giving extensive coverage to the rantings of the PM and the FM, the media should report on the geological studies done on the Koodankulam site, India’s abysmal record in industrial safety as well as its record in rehabilitation. One should also remember how Germany, the world leader in solar energy harvesting, has decided to phase out nuclear energy. Kalpana Bala, Mumbai
Apropos Thy Foreign, Lying Hand... (Mar 12), now that the government has decided to crack down on the illegal activities of ngos, it must also investigate the functioning of numerous religious organisations that receive foreign funds and are involved in various ‘social’ activities, many of them dubious in nature.
Ha ha ha.. The media has fallen for it. The catch phrase is not 'foreign'. It is 'anti national'. Now in the Cyberspace, the Government has internet trolls on its side. Instead of showing its 'patriotic' credentials by giving extensive coverage to the rantings of PM and HM, the media should report on the geological studies done on the Kudankulam site , India's abysmal record in industrial safety, rehabilitation of project affected people. Also how Germany, the world leader in Solar energy harvesting has decided to phase out nuclear energy. More important, they are determined to cut the national electrical consumption 50% below 2008 levels by 2050. Our national priorities should be along these lines. Pranabda ! are you listening? Instead of subsidizing LPG, heavily subsidise gobar gas plants. The problem with cooking on gobar gas or solar cooker is that it is slow and time consuming. It is possible to install a compressor in a gobar gas plant which can be manually operated, say, and which will deliver accumulated gas faster to speed up cooking. What sort of R & D is going on in these areas?
We cannot expect our inept political system to efficiently manage our energy needs while addressing the concerns of the environmentalists. However, a technological solution is round the corner which will make the existing methods of power generation redundant and obsolete. Though the technology is still in the nascent stage, this nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionise our lifestyles.
PV paint (photovoltaic paint) when coated on walls and roofs of buildings will generate enough power to meet the needs of the building. The amazing thing about PV paints is that even in low light conditions, it can generate electricity. The light from streets lights was enough to cause photovoltaic activity. As far as India is concerned, the good news is that the leader in this field is Corus Colours, a subsidiary of Corus Steel, which is aTata firm.
Saroja >> When I have guests, the consumption goes upto 100 units per month. Now I am planning to install solar panels and go completely off the grid.
Solar power is definitely a welcome solution but cannot meet 100% of power needs because it will not deliver power during winter.
Having said that , government can and must invest more in Solar power . Solar power will be profitable only when scale is large. And that calls for large capital investments. It is difficult but then it is a question of priorities. When government gives loan writeoffs to rich farmers and has diesel subsidies and LPG subsidies that benefit only the well off, we dont find any credible reason as to why govt cannot invest in Solar PV by cutting these subsidies. But then we will never hear on such thoughts from the MainStreamEnglish Media like outlook since they have their own vested interests in status quo.
My sister in Madras is in the process of installing inverters powered by solar panels in her flat. When fully charged the system can deliver 800W of power for upto 4 hours. The area of the solar panels is about 2 square meters. The cost is about Rs.35,000. Tamil Nadu right now is experiencing a power crisis, with some places experiencing powercut for more than 9 hours. It will be interesting to know how many people are switching over to solar energy and how many more will if state subsidises solar panels.
Consider the following story with happy ending. Earlier Chennai used to have perennial water problem. Back in 2003, the then Government made Rain-water harvesting compulsory for all buildings, private or public, with the threat of water connection being disconnected if rainwater harvesting structures are not in place. As a result, the ground water level rose. Many large housing complexes in Madras have their own water treatment plants, and many households own reverse osmosis water purifiers. Yes, there is Krishna water, but probably not enough credit has been given to the compulsory water harvesting.
I live in a airy 1BHK flat in a Mumbai suburb. My windows made of tinted glass, though slightly more expensive, reflect sunlight and keep the flat cool. I use household appliances with highest BEE star ratings. I do all my cooking on microwave oven/induction cooker / hot plate. I am a single person and my electricity bill is about 50 units per month. When I have guests, the consumption goes upto 100 units per month. Now I am planning to install solar panels and go completely off the grid.
NAC NGO activists aided by Sonia have been i) actively bankrupting the country in the name of NREGA in which no skill or infrastructure is being built, only vote banks created and corruption incresing manifold ii) dividing the nation on the basis of religion by bringing anti-Hindu communal bill, iii) not to mention hundreds of foreign (Western and Gulf) funded NGOs busy converting Hindus to Christianity and Islam all the while demanding reservation for 'Christian and Muslim' Dalits and OBCs or iv) NGOs opposing all development projects in opposition ruled states like Orrisa.
Manmohan and Congress govt were happy with forign funds flow as long as theie opponents were affected never mind the interests of the country. Now that America and Western countries want to sell their nuclear plants and hybrid seeds, the govt wants to suppress dissent by NGOs.
Tamilnadu has a crying need for more power. If Koodangkulam is shut down, this power will have to be generated using coal. So who gains herre? Companies that sell coal fired powerplants, coal importers, shipping companies that own dry bulk carriers, stevedoring and custom house agents, lorry contractors and more. At each step there is money to be made by bureaucrats and politicians who wield authority over the ports, the roads and everything else. Clearly, this is an enormous lobby that stands to lose enormously if less coal is used.
And, what would be the environmental results from using more coal? Lung cancer, mercury and sulfur pollution of the air, the soil and the water, physical and mental abnormalities in children living near wherever the coal fired powerplants are located, and worse. Sure, Outlook and the rest of the media that is salivating over closing Koodangkulam down has some brilliant solutions to offer. And, these are no doubt the result of considering everything including where the money for the continuous protests against Koodangkulam come from.
Foreign funding of NGO's is a serious matter. Such foreign donors as well as the NGO's which accept foreign funds must be closely monitored and made maximally transparent.
The anti-nuke agitators have hardly any support from even their own state.
They are supported by mischief mongering anti-nationals. Probably anti-USSR, pro-wind energy lobby, or pro-feminists or pro-christian.
The pro-nuke energy proponents need to raise their voice too. Indias progress depends vitally on it.
It is extremely disturbing to see Outlook doing an utterly biased article on Koodankulam. The NGOs involved in PMANE and their supporters in PUCL/NAC are those who dont want development to Southern Tamilnadu. Infact it is quite clear that there is an active North Indian Lobby which wants TN to suffer from rolling blackouts. And given the composition of Outlook's commentators , it does appear that there is a clear hidden bias against development in south Indian states.
SS Nagaraj >> If this agitation had been led by a Hindu organisation like the RSS,the same commentators would have shouted from roof tops that communal organisations are coming in the way of country'progress.
Outlook is like that only. Infact , if given an opportunity our Outlook commentators will even say that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were caused by RSS
If this agitation had been led by a Hindu organisation like the RSS,the same commentators would have shouted from roof tops that communal organisations are coming in the way of country'progress.When the Catholic Bishops are leading the Kudankulam agitation they are scared to call it a church led agitation.There seems to be ulterior motive behind this agitation,which started suddenly a full six months after the plant was ready for commissioning.The excuse given for this agitation citing the Fukushima example has been convincingly answered by the top nuclear scentists of the country,in addition to no less a person like Abdul Kalam our past president, pointing out that even the Tsunami aspect has been taken into consideration to make it absolutely safe.Prime minister Manmohan Singh not given to rash comments,has made the comment on the role of foreign funded NGOs,carrying no bias and only after thorough deliberation.Whereas,an agitation by Baba Ramdev was brutally attacked just after two days,the power of the Catholic church is such that,the government is hesitant to take action even after six months.As for Jayalalithaa is considered ,she is caught in a cleft having begged the church for votes in the last assembly elections.
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