Monday, April 23, 2012

Maoists Abduct District Collector in Chhattisgarh, MLA in Odisha---

Early Warnings Ignored


 Sri Jairam Ramesh, Hon'ble Union Minister for Rural Development, GOI is reported to have stated on 7 th August 2011 in Hyderabad that the "modern face of Naxalism was reflected in the industrial projects which flout the environmental norms" Also added that major projects such as the Vedanta, Sompeta, Posco and Bauxite Mining in Araku--all had an environmental dimension which can acquire the Naxalite overtone, unless handled effectively, favoring a completely different approach to the administration in Tribal Areas.

Sri V. Kishore Chandra Deo has been airing his concerns and core objections for the last 2 years, against the very concept of Bauxite Mining in Visakhapatnam Tribal Areas, as it pertains to fundamental issues regarding well being of forest dwellers & tribals and protection of their basic rights apart from the associated environmental issues.

Why Inaction at the Highest Level?

Apart from bringing the matter to the notice of Chief Minister of AP, Union Ministers of Environment & Forest and Mining since 2010, Sri Kishore Chandra Deo had written letters to The Chairperson of UPA and The Prime Minister in July 2010, requesting their intervention to stop Bauxite Mining in Scheduled Tribal areas of Vishakhapatnam district.

In his letters to The Chairperson UPA and The PM, it is categorically stated that he could sense and see the seething resentment among the forest dwellers and tribals who would be the most affected by the proposed Bauxite Mining. He was also constrained to state with concern that continued deprivation of Tribals, may compel them to take recourse to extra constitutional means to highlight their anger. He urged that all out efforts need to be made to address the basic needs and aspirations of Tribals, before the sensitive situation that already exists, is allowed to aggravate further.

As a last resort, in desperation, Sri Kishore Chandra Deo is reported to have written to the AP Governor, urging him to initiate action to prevent Bauxite Mining, so as to protect the welfare and advancement of the Tribals in the Scheduled area of Visakhapatnam, after due process.      

 Collusion of Administration?

From the information available, it can be inferred without much of a doubt, that AP State Administration and MOEF, GOI, colluded with the project proponents of Coal based Thermal Power Projects (TPPs) at Sompeta and Bhavanapadu in Srikakulam district, for allocation of land in ecologically sensitive Wetlands and for according the Environmental Clearances, respectively. Same is the case in respect of   Bauxite Mining in Araku and Chintapalle Forests in Scheduled Areas of Visakhapatnam district and for setting up the associated Refineries and Power plants. 

Will AP Learn a Lesson?

The AP State Administration used uncalled for and massive police force to protect the vested interests of the Project Proponents of TPPs at Sompeta and Bhavanapadu and to suppress the peaceful movement of the project affected people against the TPPs. In unprovoked Police Firings, the lives of five innocent people were lost and false criminal cases were foisted against many villagers who took part in the agitation. Will there be a change in handling sensitive issues like Bauxite Mining, Thermal Power Plants, Nuclear Power Plants etc., unilaterally depriving the people what little they have and adversely affecting their livelihoods, before something like in Chhattisgarh and Odisha happens?

Fight Root Causes & Forces that Create them!

 Mr. Klaus Toepfer, the former Executive Director of the UNEP said that "It is the forces of poverty, environmental degradation and hatred that give birth to the intolerance that can lead to fundamentalism and terrorist acts"

He also said that while fighting against terrorism, we must also expose the forces that create poverty, intolerance, hatred and environmental degradation that can lead to an unstable world.

Disparity and Denial  

When there is glaring disparity between the rich and the poor and the people are denied the right to their land and livelihoods and the State Administration becomes a passive on looker or still worse when it becomes an abettor, we see the rise of a sense of deprivation, hopelessness and intolerance. The desperate people can resort to desperate solutions.   As a result they may care little about themselves and the people they hurt.


What do we expect, the denied, deprived, desperate and discriminated people to do, when there is no Rule of Law (Environmental)?  Why no action on the Forces, that have easy access to the policy and decision makers and create poverty and environmental degradation, which are the root causes?

Both the AP State Govt and MOEF, GOI, failed so far, to enforce the "Rule of Law" by not taking action against the Project Proponents and the Officials concerned, in accordance with Sections 15, 17 & 19 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986, for the reasons best known to them.

People of AP have the right to know the reasons for inaction/collusion and the forces behind them, in spite of early warnings by two prominent persons who are now the Union Ministers in UPA II Govt.

Please wake up, before abduction takes place in the State, as the security environment today is impacted by a large number of external factors, which are not really within state control, as admitted by the PM.!










Sunday, April 22, 2012

Floating Restaurant in Hussein Sagar

 The AP High Court order dated 15-6-2001, in WP No. 23768 of 2000, precludes rising of any further permanent structures including those involving commercial activities, on or near water spread or catchment area of Husein Sagar. However, the other aspects of the proposed activities via, construction of an amusement park etc. not involving rising of permanent structures may be allowed with prior clearance of AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB), ensuring that creation of such entertainment parks etc. would result only in sustainable development which would not create any ecological imbalance.

But unfortunately, a number of commercial activities, namely "Water Front" Restaurant, Commercial Activities in Rock Gardens etc.  have subsequently come up encroaching on to the water body itself along the Necklace Road, in violation of AP High Court directive dated 15-06-2001 These activities seem to have been permitted in the name of temporary structures on a permanent basis, which are as bad as permanent structures, going against the objective of sustainable development, and creating ecological balance, in and around Hussein Sagar.

The commercial and recreational activities permitted in and around Hussein Sagar, namely I-max Theater, Dr.Car, Eat Street, Lumbini Park,NTR  Garden, Exhibitions held in People's Plaza 
 etc. are resulting in overcrowding the areas around Hussein Sagar, causing traffic congestion,
parking problems, noise pollution and air pollution in the area, having serious adverse environmental  impact in and around Hussein Sagar. The addition of commercial activity in the name of  Floating Restaurant to promote tourism , is only going to aggravate the situation which is already

The proposed. "Floating Restaurant" is nothing but a floating structure permanently located  right in Hussein Sagar, for carrying on a commercial activity in utter disregard and violation of AP High Court Order dated 15-06-2001 in W.P.No 26378/2000. Even assuming that the floating structure is not a self propelling structure ( without engines ), it needs to have Diesel Generator set for providing the amenities such as Air Conditioning, Water Pumping, Lighting etc  which is bound to cause pollution. Judging by the present performance, APPCB does not seem to have the required infrastructure to monitor and control discharge of various wastes generated in a floating restaurant day in and day out.

The Supreme Court Bench delivering the judgment in "Lucknow Aminuddaula Park Underground Shopping Complex Case" cautioned that "When a State holds a resource, which is available for the free use of the general public, a court will look with considerable skepticism upon any governmental conduct, which is calculated either to reallocate the resource to more restricted uses or to subject public uses to the self interest of private parties"

 Therefore commercial / recreational activities, whether in temporary or floating Structures, on a permanent basis, should not be permitted in and around Hussein Sagar, which should be left alone, by protecting & preserving from ecological degradation, as Natural, and Peaceful Recreation Center Right in the Heart of City, a rare gift to the Citizens of Hyderabad City.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Alternatives for Nuclear Power

National Power Scenario at a Glance

The achievement of increasing installed power generation capacity from 1,362 MW in 1947 to the current level of 190,593 MW (as of Feb 2012) as per details given below, is impressive:

Thermal 124,731 MW 65.44%

Hydro 38,849 MW 20.38%

RES (MNRE) 22,233 MW 11.67%

Nuclear 4,780 MW 2.51%

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Total 190,593 MW 100.00 % (Captive Generation of 19,509 MW)

Note: The availability of energy from Hydro & RES will be low, depending on Load
Factor, when compared to that from Thermal & Nuclear

.But, In spite of this impressive addition to installed generation capacity, the country is facing both energy and demand peaking shortages more than 10% and 12 % respectively, partly attributable to inefficiencies in Generation, Transportation & End Use of Energy in Power Sector.

The projection of huge growth of power generating capacity to 800,000 MW by 2031-32 (about 4 times from the present level), to sustain annual growth rate of 8% to 10% .for the next 20 years, seems to be based on the “Supply Syndrome”, rather than the thrust to improve efficiencies in the Power Sector .

Energy Security & Nuclear Power

The hollowness of the argument that India needs Nuclear Power for ensuring Energy Security, can be seen from the fact that it hardly contributes to 2.51% of the present installed capacity, in spite of huge investments in Nuclear Power Sector during the last 4 decades or so.

Even assuming that the projected installed capacity of 60,000 MW of Nuclear Power will be achieved by 2031-32, (which, going by the past record, is most unlikely), at huge financial costs under the Myth of Nuclear Safety, it hardly contributes to 7.5% of the projected total installed capacity of 800,000 MW by then, which is no where near providing energy security.

The linking of energy consumption/supply with the growth rate embodied the Myth that economic vitality requires steadily increasing energy consumption. The Nation’s Energy Security depends on efficient use of Energy Services that maximize economic competitiveness and minimize resource depletion, environmental degradation / impacts.

Cheapest & Cleanest Alternative to Nuclear Power

Cautioning against the way development is being pursued in India, Prof.Elinor Ostram, Noble Laureate in Economics (2009) is reported to have said "If we feel that eliminating poverty is only accomplished by building Power Plants and all the rest, rather than enabling people to develop resources in ways that are less destructive of the environment, the problem will get worse”

The improvement of efficiencies of the Installed Generating Capacities, Reducing Losses in Transportation of Power and improving Efficiency by the End Users of Energy (Energy Conservation Measures) which have considerable potential, can do away with the need for meager Nuclear Power involving enormous cost and risks.

Inefficiencies in existing Power Sector

The fact is, “It takes energy to make energy”. In the case of coal based TPPs, the energy is Extracted from Coal and Converted (Thermal-Mechanical-Electrical) to Electrical Energy. It is estimated that by using Sub-critical technology boilers and the steam turbine-generator sets, the efficiency of Extraction and Conversion from Coal to Electrical energy is hardly 33% and it may go up to around 40% even by using Super-critical technology boilers.

Taking into account, auxiliary consumption of TPPs, AT&C Losses (30%) and the inefficient use of Electrical Energy by the end users (Potential Saving of 25%), the percentage of the actual energy effectively utilized comes down drastically. At present, the overall efficiency, of extraction and conversion of Coal Energy to Electrical Energy and its transportation & the effective end use, may work out to be around 20 to 25%.

Stop Capacity Addition (Megawatt) Syndrome!

While about 80% of coal energy is being lost in the system, should the addition of Coal based TPPs be continued, unmindful of their socioeconomic & environmental impacts and with out giving priority, for improving the efficiencies in the Power Sector, which is more cost effective? It is suicidal, trying to add generation capacities and feeding into inefficient network to cater for energy inefficient end usage.

Priority needs to be given to improve the efficiency of the existing coal based Thermal Power Plants by adopting better technologies and integrating with Solar Thermal technology, so as to bring down the consumption of coal and the running costs.

SSM & DSM Measures (Negawatt)

.The Supply Side Management (SSM) Measures, for bringing down AT&C Losses, estimated to be around 30% and improvement of network Power Factor to International standards by the Power Utilities need to be given the highest priority. At present the metered and billed energy is estimated to be less than 50% of the energy handled by the power utilities. As a result the bulk of the energy generated by the Power Plants is not reaching the consumers / not being metered and billed.

Whatever the energy received by the consumers and billed, is being wasted, partly due to energy inefficient devices, appliances, equipment, process, technology, practices, life-styles etc. used / adopted by the consumers. It is estimated that there is energy saving potential to an extent of 25% by adopting suitable/appropriate Demand Side Management (DSM) Measures. (Agriculture 36%, Industry 25% and Commercial & Domestic 20%)

Renewable Energy Sources (RES) & Energy Security

In view of local Environmental & Global Warming impacts of fossil fuels, particularly Coal, it is the right time to lean towards Renewable Energy Sources (RES) such as Solar, Wind, Fuel Cell & other Renewables, based on small and decentralized units, rather than through centralized, large size units based on Coal & Nuclear. They can cater for local consumers, independent of the grid and feed excess power into the grid. The stand alone Solar-LED-Lithium Battery Lighting system may be a viable substitute for subsidized kerosene in remote rural areas. The grid interactive Roof-Top Solar PV systems with net-metering facility may be a viable option, as it does not place any pressure on already scarce land resource.

Taking into account the Economic Costs of Coal Based Power and Nuclear Power--A Very Expensive, Sophisticated and Dangerous Way to Boil Water-- which should include all benefits and costs incurred for the Society during their entire life cycle, the Solar Power may prove to be cheaper even today.

“Electricity is but the fleeting byproduct from Nuclear Power. The actual product is forever deadly radioactive waste.”—

-Michael Keegan, Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes


Save from Terrorism of Nuclear Power Plants!

Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India in his speech on 27 th Raising Day of SPG,( 2 nd April 2012) is reported to have said

“Terrorism to day acquired new forms and new shapes. It is now often driven by a bold and educated class of terrorists.----- Their activities are marked by the use of the latest technology as a source multiplier. The security environment in our country today is also impacted by a large number of external factors, which are not really within our control”

Therefore people around Kudunkulam, Jaitapur and Kovvada Areas should not be made the sacrificing goats, under the “Myth of Nuclear Safety” and the “Bogy of Energy Security”, ignoring “Nuclear Reactor Disasters” with devastating impacts for decades to come, from Nuclear Accidents, due to unpredictable and outside human imagination and due to external factors which are not really within our control.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kovvada Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) Srikakulam District AP

Kovvada People have the Right to Know :

1) Has the Site for KNPP been approved by AERB, in accordance with Regulatory Consenting Process based on AERB Safety Code?

The. Govt. of India (DAE) is reported to have accorded “In-Principal” approval for setting up Kovvada NPP for 6 x,1000 MWe (LWRs), by constituting a Site Selection Committee (SSC) chaired by CMD, NPCIL, apparently with out “Siting Approval “ by AERB, which is very elaborate & complex exercise, involving study of enormous amount of field data

2) Does KNPP Site conform to “Population Considerations” stipulated for Site Selection?

The Sites with low population densities up to radial distance of 30 KM are to be preferred for NPP and the population within radius of 10 KM of NPP should be less than 2/3 of the State average with no population centers of more than 10,000 within 10 KM.

The proposed KNPP Site, on an area of 775.51 Hectors, including 265.89 Hectors of private land, is Fenced and Prohibited Area up to radial distance of 1.5 KM, called Exclusive Zone (EZ). There are 5 villages/habitations (Ramacendrapuram, Gudem, Kotapalem, Tekkali, and Jiru Kovvada) with 862 households, having population of about 3,500 in the proposed Exclusive Zone of Kowada NPP, with South West Corner of the Site appears to be falling under CRZ Area.

The area from 1.5KM to 5.0 KM from KNPP site, called Sterilized Zone (SZ) (Restricted Area), in which no new activity is permitted and the existing activities, people, structures continue to remain. Total population in Sterilized Zone should be small, say less than 20,000. But there are 42 villages/habitations with about 6700 households, having total population of about 30,000 in the proposed Sterilized Zone (1.5 to 5.0 km) of KNPP.

The area up to radial distance of 16 KM from KNPP, which is called Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ), has 108 habitations, with 17,000 households and population of 71,4000 (excluding Exclusive Zone and including Sterilized Zone ) to be evacuated in the likely event of emergency. This area may have to be extended as KNPP is going to have 6 x, 1000 MWe (LWRs) and in the light of Fukushima experience.

3) Has DAE considered the Land-Use and Type of Houses in Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ), before according In-Principle Approval for KNPP?

The private land to an extent of 10,400 Hectors in EPZ is predominantly with intensive agricultural activities, mostly horticulture and most of the houses in EPZ may not be suitable to provide shelter in case of emergency.

4) What is the fate of 30,000 people and agricultural produce in 4600 Hectors of private land in Sterilized Zone, which is exposed to radioactive emissions / releases from routine operations of 6 Reactors, with a capacity 1000 MWe each, for the next 30 to 40 years of their operation ?

5) How is Nuclear Waste generated by KNPP going to be managed?

Are Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant (NFRP),Nuclear Waste Treatment Plant (NWTP), Nuclear Waste Immobilization Plant (NWIP) and Nuclear Effluent Treatment Plant (NETP) proposed to be set up at KNPP Site at a latter date , if so their likely adverse impacts on people and agriculture in the area ?

6) What are the contents of MOU/ Agreement between the KNPP Operator- NPCIL- and the American Equipment Supplier for KNPP, on Nuclear Liability?

Stop Land Acquisition for KNPP under the “Myth of Nuclear Safety” and the “Bogy of Energy Security”, till the People of Kovvada Area are taken into confidence & satisfied on the above points at least !