Thursday, January 30, 2014

Money is yours but Resources belong to the Society!


Food Wastage a Wasteful Luxury


The issue of food wastage and ostentatious behaviour has been the subject of discussion for reducing food wastage at weddings and social gatherings.  The estimated food wastage at social gatherings to the extent of 15-20 per cent, is nothing but a "Criminal Act" because there are still some percentage of population who get only one meal a day and none at all. There is an urgent need to launch a campaign to curb this wasteful luxury.


German Experience  


The extract from the experiences of an Indian student during his study trip to Germany is reproduced below:


Germany is a highly industrialized country. It produces top brands like Benz, BMW, Siemens etc. IN such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life. At least that was my impression before my study trip. 

When I arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues who work in Hamburg arranged a welcome party for me in a restaurant. As we walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.                              
There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates. 

We did not pay much attention to them, as we were looking forward to the dishes we ordered. As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us. 


 As the restaurant was quiet, the food came quite fast. Since there were other activities arranged for us, we did not spend much time dining. When we left, there was still about one third of unconsumed food on the table. 


 When we were leaving the restaurant, we heard someone calling us. We noticed the old ladies in the restaurant were talking about us to the restaurant owner. When they spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food. We immediately felt that they were really being too busybody. “We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind," my colleague told the old ladies. 

The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform claimed to be an officer from the Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Mark fine.  We all kept quiet. The local colleague took out a 50 Mark note and repeatedly apologized to the officer.   

Our face turned red. We all agreed with him in our hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give   others a treat. THIS LESSON TAUGHT US A LESSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT   CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS.                                                 
  My colleague Photostatted the fine ticket and gave a copy to each of us as a souvenir. All of us kept it and pasted on our wall to remind us that we shall never be wasteful.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Throw Away, Where is “AWAY”?

Waste & Litter


 Every one talks of "Throwing Away" the items that have been considered to be no longer useful or needed. Like wrappers, plastic bags, pieces of paper, empty bottles/ jars / cans, used electronic/ electrical items, clothes & other items in use of daily life, the kitchen waste, left overs of food etc. It is called Waste, Garbage, Trash, Refuse, Junk, Rubbish, Scrap etc. One, who carelessly throws things that are considered to be of no use, causes Littering. 


The nature takes care of Waste material what is natural ( Biodegradable or Wet Garbage).What we really need to worry about is all that waste ( Non- Degradable or Dry Garbage) created by manmade items. A product does not create waste only when it is thrown away. No matter how small, each manmade item leaves behind a trail of wastes at every stage of its life – as its raw materials are sourced, as it is produced, packaged, transported, consumed and finally discarded/ thrown away.  


Garbage Bag indicator of Life Styles


From the scrutiny of type and quantity of garbage generated by a family, one can find out more about the lifestyles / habits of the family – what they drink, eat and waste – than they themselves. The cans / tins, the bottles / jars, the foils, cellophane, the packaged goods with more packaging than what is within, hardly used toys,  electronic gadgets & accessories, left overs of foods / snacks of the kids' dinners etc. that are thrown "Away" as waste, are indicative of wasteful nature of their lifestyles, mind-sets  and habits.


A lot of that they "Through Away" is because they don't know that much of the stuff is not really needed and has nowhere to go. But they keep buying things they don't always need and resort to throwing them, not thinking where all they end up, just leaving it to luck.


Recycle & Reuse


Most of the items being thrown away by many of the households as waste consist of Paper, Plastic Bags, Packing Material, Foils, used Aluminium Cans, Glass / Plastic Containers, Electrical / Electronic items  etc. (Dry Waste) do not get easily or naturally destroyed and would remain just the same for years. As all these items can be Recycled for salvaging and making new products with value addition, they should not be subjected to "Throw Away" and find their way into Dust Bins / Garbage Cans.


 All the News Papers, old Note Books & Magazines and used paper should be neatly stacked and stored for selling once a month or so. Similarly, the Plastic Bags, Packing Material, Empty Bottles, Jars & Cans and all other Dry Waste material, instead of putting into the dust bin,   should be stored separately in a gunny sack or any other container and handed over once in a fortnight /  month to the Person picking up the garbage from the households. The electrical / electronic wastes should be deposited at the designated centres for the purpose. Only the biodegradable wet garbage – Kitchen wastes- should be handed over for daily collection.  


 Thus the volume of domestic garbage being picked up daily and transported over long distances can be brought down considerably. This also avoids transportation of volumes instead of weight, at heavy costs.


To the extent possible the used items such as glass bottles, jars etc. may be Reused for storing spice powders, nails & pins etc. Even with "Recycling" and "Reuse", there is far too much Waste generation that has no final "Away" to disappear into. What can we do about it?




Let us think of the contents of our dustbin and how to avoid some of them & where the others should go and not just thrown away? We must try and stop / reduce waste generation from happening in the first thinking about what we buy and use even before we begin. Do we always really need all that we buy? Even after we buy, what do we get? Packing – all kinds, fancy and fun paper, plastic, cellophane, Styrofoam, foil-layer upon layer, just waiting to be peeled off and thrown away. Are we optimizing the use of what we have and what we consume, before buying new ones or acquiring additional ones? Why not we try to Reduce what we buy and what we use and to be thrown away in the first place?


Think before you Throw Away


Finished with the Chips? Throw away the packet. Toothpaste over? Throw away the Tube. Ballpen won't write? Chuck it away. Then what? Where does it all go?  Waste just cannot go away or disappear. It just turns up again – on someone else's doorstep or garden. Why not we think before we throw?


       *If we don't need something, it might be still be useful to someone. Give old books, old
       toys and old cloths to someone who can use them


      *Try finding another use for what you plan to throw. A pencil holder from a can………..
       The possibilities are endless.


      *Last but not the least; why not try to Reduce, what you buy in the first place?


There is No "AWAY" & Throwing is "No Way"


The fact of life is that all we "Through Away" as waste, ends up ultimately polluting Air, Water &Soil adversely affecting the very "Food Cycle" and Quality of our lives. That is where this "AWAY" ends up finally. The Waste cannot be wished away, because there isn't an "AWAY"


               Let us pledge to cut down on Waste, right at the Roots and enter into

                             3 R Pact – Recycle, Reuse and Reduce  


        Please Carry A "BAG" (Jute/Cloth). Do not bring A "Carry Bag" (Plastic)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sustainability of Subsidised Power Tariff?


The critical problems being faced by Electrical Energy Consumers in the country are a) Non Availability of assured power supply, b) Poor Quality of power supply and c) High Tariff electrical energy. The widening gap between Supply and Demand contributes to a) and b) above.


 As the increase of generating capacities is an expensive and time consuming option, efforts should be made to supress the demand which is cost effective and faster, so to minimize the gap between Supply and Demand


Supress Demand


 The demand can be supressed by adopting energy efficient lighting and other electrical appliances / devices, by avoiding lights and fans in day time to the extent possible by making use of natural light and ventilation and avoiding wastage of electrical energy by switching off the devices / appliances when not in use and not required.


 The electrical energy efficiency can be promoted by encouraging the use of LED Tube lights / Bulbs, 5 Star Rated Fans and other appliances by reducing or waiving of the local taxes and /or offering suitable one time subsidies for the energy efficient products. There is enough scope for saving energy by judicial management in Govt. Offices and Buildings in particular, in addition to Street Lighting.


Solar PV Power


The use of Renewable Sources of energy namely Solar PV Power by all the consumers in excess of say 1000 units or so per month, to the extent of 25% of annual consumption be made mandatory. This may require the clearance by the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC).  Other consumers may be encouraged to opt for Roof-Top Solar PV Systems with Net-Metering facility and Solar Water Heating Systems by offering suitable one time incentives such as waiver of local taxes and / or State Subsidies in addition to the subsidies offered by MNRE, GOI.




The continuing subsidy offered by way of reduction of electrical Power Tariff fixed by SERC, will involve the reimbursement of the difference to the Distribution Company by the State Govt. As the subsidised power  may lead to wastage in the consumption of electrical energy, further increasing the gap between Demand and Supply,  it may be worthwhile to consider the promotion of energy efficiency by one time subsidy  and supress the demand .


 One unit of energy saved is equal to more than one unit generated. The Energy Efficiency is cheaper and faster than any other source of energy generation.


                          "Save To-Day, Survive Tomorrow"


Friday, January 3, 2014

                          Water Metering Miracles?

 We all are aware what “Metering” can do and its significance. We face metering every day in some form or other. The Electricity metering, Auto Rickshaw metering ,Taxi  metering  and  we  use  these  services  with  thought  and  concern as  the  impact  in  monetary terms  is direct  and immediate.

 Metering & Waste Reduction

 In Tarnaka, Hyderabad in an Upper Middle Class apartment complex with 32 families, there was always a shortage of Water and the residents of the complex were incurring heavy expenditure for getting water by tankers. The residents decided to introduce water meters for each apartment (Flat) in addition to the Metro Water meter for bulk supply to the apartment complex, in order to monitor actual consumption by each apartment. It was also decided to charge the residents of each Flat, for excess consumption recorded in the meter, over and above the base limit mutually agreed and fixed.   

 Lo and behold….there was No shortage of water which was earlier wasted due to lack of concern and monitoring. The same quantum of water which was received earlier from Metro Water Supply is now adequate to meet the requirements of all the apartments, as water is being used with care and concern to minimize the monitory impact.

 A small step of water metering made life comfortable for 32 families and brought in a big impact in consciousness about water conservation. Avoided the need to purchase additional water by tankers (about 20 Tankers costing around Rs 8000 per month) and the attitudinal change towards Scarce Resource Conservation.

 Hyderabad Metro Water Board struggling to Stay Afloat

 Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) is reported to be on the verge of financial breakdown with its deficit rising every month. Its revenue is estimated to be Rs.63 Crore per month while its overheads run into Rs.93 Crore, leaving a shortfall of Rs.30 Crore every month.

 The Water Board seems to be looking for the Govt. clearance to increase the water tariff or for financial support by way of grants to bridge the increasing gap. Both these options are likely to burden the consumer/ citizen who is already overburdened. The right approach for the Water Board is to maximize the revenue by plugging the water pilferage/ leakages / wastages.

 Metering & Water Balancing

 The basic approach is to meter, account and monitor every liter of water, in the entire supply chain right from the Reservoir to the Consumer end, covering the quantity of water billed, supplied free, lost in leakages, pilferage etc. This can be achieved by installing reliable and tamper proof Water Meters at all stages of water supply system ensuring every water supply connection, including free water supply, has a meter, which needs to be maintained in good order.

This will enable accurate “Water Balancing/Accounting” at all stages of water supply and distribution systems, eliminating/minimizing  unauthorized connections, pilferage, malpractices etc.  and bringing accountability for every Ltr. of water being supplied from  the Reservoir. Thus Water Board will be able to improve the efficiency of water supply and distribution systems for maximizing the revenue without the need to increase the tariff.

 How Much Water do we need?

 An  average urban middle class  family  of  5, having  most  of the White Goods  like Washing  Machines, hot  water  heaters, grinders etc, consumes around 1500 Ltrs. per day, working out to 300 Liters Per Day  (LPD) per head.  This Urban usage/wastage of 300 LPD is a real Luxury, when compared to most rural people make do with   20 to 30 LPD.

 Do you Know?

  It requires about 2000 to 3000 Liters of Water to grow Paddy required for   One Kilo Gram of Rice

 If 10 Grams of Rice  is wasted.,  about  20  to  30 Liters of water is being  wasted  …the  requirement  of Water per day for one  person in Rural area  / Urban slum.

           Water is too Precious to be Wasted. Conserve Water- Save Life

Review of Bhavanapadu 2640 MW TPP of ECEPL -A Ritual & Eyewash

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on Thermal Power Projects in its 24 th meeting held on 2-3 May 2011 recommended that that the Ministry may rescind the stop work order issued on March 01, 2011, at the proposed power plant site of Bhavanapadu 2640 MW TPP of ECEPL at Kakarapalli, since at this stage, a zero base level assessment of the project is not a feasibility.
Reject Recommendation of EAC and Cancel EC
In accordance with Sub- Para 8 (vi) of EIA Notification, the deliberate concealment and/or submission of false or misleading information or data which is material to screening or scoping or appraisal or decision on the application shall make the application liable for rejection, and cancellation of prior environmental clearance granted on that basis.
It is therefore requested that the recommendation of EAC be rejected outright and the E.C granted to Bhavanapadu 2640 MW TPP of ECEPL at Kakarapalli, be cancelled by MOEF, after giving a personal hearing to the project proponent and following the principles of natural justice, based on the following facts & ground realities::
a) The NEAA in its Order dated 30-8-2010 observed that various reports including that of sub-committee of EAC were found to be incorrect
EAC and in turn the MOEF has relied on these reports for granting Environmental Clearance(EC) for the project.
b) The NEAA also observed that as stated by the expert of BHNS and agreed by Dr.Kaul, a renowned expert on Wetlands, elevation of the
project site by the project proponent, after the grant of EC nearly a year ago, has caused irreversible changes in the character of
the ecologically important wetland
c) In the 17 th Meeting of the Standing Committee of National Board for Wild Life held on 22-12-2009, under the Chairmanship of the Minister
for E&F, the site inspection report of Dr.Asad Rahmani and Dr, Asha Rajvanshi had clearly stated that Naupada Swamps area was
excellent habitat for Migratory Birds and was classified as IBAS. It also stated that the entire area of the project, starting from approach road
to the project site is marshy land and the EIA Report of the applicant ignored Bio diversity of the area.
d) AP High Court, while dismissing WP NO..9360/2009 observed that " A plain reading of the reproduction from the counter of the
Respondent - State makes it clear that clearance was granted by the State after due deliberation and application of mind"
---"It is
amply clear that the Power Project area is not part of Naupada Swamp and as such
bereft of any ecological importance" This is
far from the facts and the ground realities
Penal Action
Instead of filing false criminal cases against innocent villagers peacefully agitating against Kakarapalli Power Project, necessary penal action be initiated , in accordance with Sections 15,17and 19 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, against Project Proponent & the Officials responsible for suppressing the info & submitting incorrect/misleading info/data about the project site.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Crematoriums & Memorials

                                Crematoriums And Memorials

  The cremation of dead bodies of political leaders and erection / creation of memorials in public parks and places has become the order of the day. Sensing the dangers of this trend, Govt.of India has put a blanket ban on conversion of Govt. Bungalows into memorials and development of Samadhis of departed leaders on public land. The trusts and societies set up in memory of departed leaders can, however, develop memorials provided they bear the expenses for acquisition of land and for development and maintenance of memorials.

 Also decided that the functions related to the birth and death anniversaries of all National Leaders will be organized by the leaders’ family members or by the trust and no financial grants shall be granted by the Govt for the purpose. However development, maintenance and all functions connected with the birth and death anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi will continue to be the responsibility of the Raj Ghat Samadhi Committee, as it is a National Monument The necessary funds required for organizing all functions at Raj Ghat will be provided by the Govt as per past practice

But, the allotment of the Bungalow at No.6 Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi, for the Babu Jagajivan Ram National Foundation, even on payment of monthly rent for the next 25 years till 2038 appears to be in utter violation of blanket ban imposed on conversion of Govt Bungalows.

The A.P. High Court in its land-mark judgment on WP No. 25835 of 1996 observed that the State Government acted on its own to use a public park for disposal of the dead body of late Sri. N.T. Rama Rao and the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation silently watched the conversion of the public park first into a cremation ground and later its appropriation for raising a memorial for late Sri. N.T.Rama Rao. In the case of cremation of late Dr.M Chenna Reddy, however, the Corporation and State Govt.were reminded of the existence of a law only because of Writ Petitions entertained by the court.

  The High Court further observed that it is not difficult to see, in the disposal of the dead bodies of late N.T. Rama Rao and late Dr.M Chenna Reddy in the Public Parks, clear violation of law. The State Govt.acted without jurisdiction as well as malice in law, and interfered with the constitutional and statutory power of the self- government. No government can justify violations of law either by it or by its servants and agents merely because there are demands from the public or a section there of to do things which are violative of the law.

The High Court also observed that Corporation’s failure in preventing the cremation of late Sri N.T.Rama Rao in one of the parks of the city and in not taking action to remove any encroachments by any person including the State Govt. upon the lands belonging to the park, are glaring violations of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Repetition of the above in the case of late Dr.M. Chenna Reddy by the State Govt. and abdication of jurisdiction by the Commissioner and Corporation is a repeat of the violation of the right as above.

 Referring to the apprehension of the petitioners of further violations, by raising of memorials in the names of late NT Rama Rao and late Dr.M Chenna Reddy, at the places of their cremation in the public parks, the court have taken the view that any conversion of the parks to any other use would violate the rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Therefore the court unhesitatingly accepted the petitioners’ plea that State Govt. and MCH have to be restrained from converting the parks to any other use.