Friday, October 28, 2011

Global Summit on Biodiversity -KBR National Park.

  It is heartening to note that Hyderabad City is going to host the 11 th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COD) from October 01-19, 2012. The mega  event, which is expected to be attended by Prime Ministers/ Ministers of about 200 Nations is

going to be the first really Global Summit in Hyderabad City. The convention, while reaffirming the sovereign rights of Nations over their

biological resources, is expected to emphasize the need for conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.

Extract from INDIAWILDS News Letter Vol. 3, Issue X

"India's bio-diversity is under an unprecedented assault from multiple sources. Vast tracts of wilderness areas are submerged due to the ill planned dams, fragmented due to roads, canals, railways; destroyed due to large industrial projects and unplanned human settlements & avaricious builders-politician-official nexus grabbing forest land "


 National Parks in AP State


Out of 99 National Parks, forming part of the Network of 664 Protected Areas in the country, 5 National Parks are identified and notified in AP State. Hyderabad has the distinction of having 3 of them- KBR, Mrugavani and Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Parks in and around the city. These 3 National parks are facing the problems either by Human Assault, Fragmentation, and Official Neglect.




Suggest that KBR Park be restored to its pristine glory by stopping the Human Assault by way of the Walkers, during the next one year and show case the same to demonstrate what our country is attempting to do for conservation of Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Use of its components. Concurrently efforts may please be made to improve the other two National Parks, where some events of the summit can be held.




Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are N-Power Risks worth Taking and for Whose Benefit?

 Sustainable Development

The universally accepted principle of "Sustainable Development" advocates the pattern of natural resource use while preserving the environment, ensuring that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

 When we consider the entire lifecycle of a Nuclear Power plant, from construction to decommissioning, combined with sourcing of uranium and disposal of the radioactive wastes, the current generation would be making decisions that impact people far into the future. We are supposed to tell future generations, for at least 10,000 years, to keep their feet off nuclear waste dumps.  Mankind has no experience of communicating so many years ahead in time, making Nuclear Waste a serious language problem.

Precautionary Principle

Another universally accepted  "Precautionary Principle" or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment , in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

This principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from taking a particular course or making a certain decision when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result. There is abundant scientific knowledge and experience since Second World War regarding horrendous harm due to exposure to Nuclear Radiation form plausible risk of meltdown of Nuclear Reactors, which cannot be ruled out by any stretch of imagination.

Nuclear Power: Only Problems – No Solutions

 Sometimes it is important to restate the obvious ones. Smoking is bad because it causes cancer and it is not good to drive drunk because it can lead to serious accidents. Similarly, we should not opt for Nuclear Power, because it is a very Expensive, Sophisticated & Dangerous Way to Boil Water and can be harmful..

 Nuclear Power (NP) is not sustainable, because it's fissile fuel materials are as limited as fossil fuels and it is not only a high-risk technology in terms of safety, but also with respect to financial investment, because without State subsidies, it does not stand a chance.

 Nuclear Power doesn't add up economically, environmentally or socially. and is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges, Electricity is but the fleeting byproduct from Nuclear Power and the  actual product is forever deadly radioactive waste, which needs to be isolated from the biosphere for thousands of years that defy human imagination. Even 21 st Century science has no answer for safe disposal of Nuclear Waste.

Energy Security without Nuclear Power?

The total Nuclear Power capacity projected is 60,000 MW by 2031-32, which works out to be hardly 7.5 % of the total projected capacity.800, 000 MW by then.. As the energy conservation potential, in our energy intensive economy, is estimated to be more than 20% we can easily do away with the need for the projected 60,000 MW (10%) Nuclear Power, at huge financial costs and enormous adverse environmental and social impacts. This can be achieved by cost effective "Energy Conservation" measures the fastest and the cheapest way of making available Clean Energy. But will the powerful MNCs in Nuclear Power Sector and their political nexus, permit the energy conservation measures and Green Power from renewable sources to materialize?

Hidden Agenda  

Former Chairperson of Atomic Energy Commission who retired two years ago Dr. Anil Kakodkar ,candidly explained why the Government is importing nuclear reactors and not using indigenous technologies. In an article published in prominent Marathi newspaper Sakaal Times on 5th January 2011 he wrote (translated from Marathi), "We have to keep in mind the commercial interests of foreign countries and of the companies there... America, Russia and France were the countries that we made mediators in these efforts to lift sanctions, and hence, for the nurturing of their business interests, we made deals with them for nuclear projects."

  It seems that the USA has found an unwitting client for its Nuclear Power Plants, which did not find market in their own country, since the 3 Mile Island Incident in 1979 . Are we putting Indian lives at risk for the sake of American jobs (which is what President Obama claimed to create during his visit to India)? Are Indian lives so cheap and we have no regard for our own countrymen?

The less we talk about the safety and cost factors of Nuclear Power, the better.. The Uranium is radioactive substance with unstable atoms with constant Radioactive Disintegration or Decay. It is safer, if it is permitted to remain underground without over exploitation, as it may prove to be a Devil once it is extracted. Let us not make Nallagonda, Kadapa and the surrounding areas exposed to the Devil?  

 Evil vs Devil   Nuclear power is not just the Evil and it is the Devil. Evil of our own making can be overcome. The Devil cannot be overcome, not even if we ourselves conjure him into being. This is why; staking our future on Nuclear Power is a Pact with the Devil, impacting the generations far into the future.  


There exists a deep sense of entitlement, a feeling that people can do anything and have anything they want, as long as they earn enough money, by whatever means. But the world cannot be treated like that any longer. Global resources are finite and the misapplication of science & technology has seriously damaged the ecosystems of this unique planet, threatening the ongoing existence of many millions of  species, including ourselves. Self Sacrifice and Social Responsibility, the noble traits, will lead the world toward Sanity and Survival.

We can survive and move forward in harmony with nature by observing the principles of "Sustainable Development" and "Precautionary Approach", rather than choosing to live dangerously to move forward.   


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fuel Diesel SUVs at the Expense of Rs 32 per day BPL !

 Artificial Low Diesel Price

The demand for Petrol is reported to have dropped below Diesel for the first time in 15 years, as high cost of Petrol is prompting more and more people to opt for Diesel Cars to take advantage of the Rs 26 a liter gap between the prices of the two fuels. The people are opting for diesel cars, in spite of Rs 1 to 1.5 Lakh premiums on diesel cars, since this is more than made up, by the lower price of diesel, during the life cycle of the vehicle. Even automakers who never made diesel passenger cars are now launching such vehicles in India,

 Misuse of Subsidized Diesel

As against only one out of 10 vehicles running on diesel some years ago, and  less than one in four in 2005-06, the share of diesel vehicles is reported to have  risen to nearly half of car sales now. As a result, the subsidized diesel consumption by private vehicles - "Passenger Cars and SUVs"-is reported to have exceeded consumption by the Public Transport and Agricultural Sectors, for which the subsidized Diesel is basically meant. This is further aggravated by th Captive Diesel- Generator sets of Industry, the Standby D-G sets of Commercial & Domestic Sectors, the Mobile Cell Towers and the Construction Sites.

For Who's Benefit & At Who's Cost?

The government deregulated petrol price in June 2010 but continues to keep Diesel price artificially low due to lower taxes. The present lopsided fuel pricing policy & system is increasing manufacturers' and buyers' bias in favour of diesel vehicles, benefiting the Auto Makers and well to do Owners of SUVs & Expensive Diesel Cars. It is a huge avoidable drain on the State Exchequer, burdening heavily the average Taxpayer and the Rs 32 per day BPL Population.

Remains Questionable?

It remains questionable, why UPA Government headed by Dr.Manmohan Singh, the world's well known Economist, does not act on the recommendations of the Expert Group on a Viable &Sustainable System of Pricing of Petroleum Products, submitted as far back as February 2010?




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

:East Coast Energy Pvt. Ltd - Let Not Environmental Law become a Casuality before Political Power ?


 It is  reiterated that the EAC recommendation  to rescind  MOEF "Stop Work" Order dated 01-03-2011, be rejected outright and the Environmental .Clearance  granted to Bhavanapadu 2640 MW TPP of ECEPL at Kakarapalli on 9-4-2009 be cancelled by MOEF, for the following reasons:


a) To begin with, MOEF relied on incorrect reports for granting Environmental Clearance  (EC) dated 09-04-2009 to the project as
     pointed out    by NEAA


b) The ECEPL Project Site  is in ecologically sensitive and important Wetlands,  which is an excellent habitat for Migratory  Birds and
is classified as IBAS, as pointed out by the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife.  This fact was suppressed in the EIA
   Report of the Project Proponent and  by Srikakulam District Collector and the State Revenue Department while  issuing G.O.Ms.No  
   No.1108 dated 05-09-2008,
alienating  government wet  lands to an extent of Acs.3333.45 Cts. situated in Kakarapalli  and other   
   villages   for setting up ECEPL Power Project


'c) The detailed clarifications furnished  by the Department of Environment and Forests , Govt of AP, vide letter No. 5447/ CZMA /2007
     dated: 09.02.2009 , which were considered by EAC for recommending EC for the project,  failed  to point out the location of 
     the Project Site in ecologically sensitive Wetlands


d) MOEF Letter dated 01-03-2011 issuing directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 to ECEPL , also
      acknowledges the fact  that the project site is in Wetlands


e) The EAC recommendation in its 24 th Meeting held on 2-3 May 2011  that the Ministry may rescind "Stop Work" Order dated 

      01-03-2011, is based on the logic that "A zero base level assessment of the project is not a feasibility  at this stage"

   . This amounts  to authorizing the illegal activity to  continue by  the project proponent , who  managed to suppress the facts by using 
      the political clout,  . 


f) The MOEF land mark Order dated 14-01-2011 in the case of Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society directing that    
    "Unauthorized Structure built should be removed in its entirety and the  area restored to its original condition " should be the guiding
      factor  for any decision to be taken by  MOEF in the case of ECEPL Project and for upholding the "Rule of  Environmental Law" and
     Article 48-A of The Constitution of India


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Neta, Babu & Baba Nexus- A Deadly Combination?


 As reported in the Press, one Sri Rama Avadhuta Baba is understood to be facing several charges of land grabbing for construction of his Ashram in Cheruvu village, Gudlur Mandal in Prakasam Dt. The charges include encroachment of the Village Tank land, Assigned land, Forest land and also the land belonging to Railways, as the Ashram is located just adjacent to the Railway tracks.


Illegal Occupation of Village Common Lands 


 It is also reported that the land in Survey No 879 of Cheruvu village had been encroached by the God man and latter got a stay order from AP High Court, seeking exemption from recovery of land, as pucca buildings had been constructed on the land. This seems to go against the spirit of directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court, in its Order dated 28 th January 2011 In Civil Appeal No.1132/2011 @SLP(C) No.3109/2011


 It is understood that the District Administration appears to be helpless to initiate any action against the God man, before whom Top Politicians, so called VVIPs and Top Officials  are reported to be queuing up to fall on his feet and  because of pressures from high offices.




 The AP State Administration should act swiftly and decisively  to get the matter examined and to consider the eviction of illegal / unauthorized occupation of Tank land, Assigned land, Forest land and the Railway land of Cheruvu village used for construction of the Ashram, in accordance with the directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court, in its Order dated 28 th January 2011 In Civil  Appeal No.1132/2011 @SLP(C) No.3109/2011 and initiate penal action against the encroachers.


Equality before Law guaranteed under Fundamental Rights enshrined in The Constitution of India should not be made a mockery, by the deadly combination of Neta, Babu & Baba Nexus !





Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Long & at What Cost, the Inefficient Use of Coal Energy?



The fact is, "It takes energy to make energy". In the case of Coal based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) , the energy is Extracted from Coal and Converted (Thermal-Mechanical-Electrical) to Electrical Energy, which is Transported from TPPs to the end users for Consumption.


It is estimated that by using Subcritical technology boilers and the steam turbine-generator sets, the efficiency of Extraction and Conversion to Electrical energy from Coal is hardly 33% and it may go up to around 40% even by using Supercritical technology boilers.


Taking into account, the consumption of electricity at TPPs (auxiliary consumption 10%)  and the losses in Transportation of electricity from TPPs to the end users (T & D Losses 25%), the energy available to the consumers will be around 27% of the Coal Energy


By conservative estimates, there is a potential of 15 to 20% for saving energy by cost effective energy efficiency measures (DSM) by the end users. Taking all these inefficiencies into account, the overall efficiency, of extraction and conversion of Coal Energy to Electrical Energy and its transportation & the end use, may work out to be around 20%


While about 80% of energy of the Coal is being lost, should the addition of the Coal based TPPs be continued, unmindful of their associated adverse socio-economic & ecological impacts and with out giving a thought & priority for the following:


a)     Improving the end use efficiency of electrical energy by appropriate DSM Measures which are more cost effective?  

b)    Bringing down Auxiliary Consumption at T & D Losses by appropriate SSM Measures at marginal costs?  

c)    Bringing down Coal consumption by adopting Cleaner Coal technologies such as IGCC (Coal cannot be clean) and integrating Solar Thermal Technology with Coal based Thermal Power Plants?