Monday, December 28, 2015

Let us avoid “Nuclear Disaster Made in India” at Kovvada

The dangers of “Untested & Expensive Imported Reactors” pointed out in the Article“The Strange Love for Nuclear Energy” by Prof.M.V. Ramana & Prof.Suvrat Raju, published in The Hindu of 17 th December 2015, are highlighted below:

Dangers of Untested Nuclear Reactors

The“ Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactors” (ESBWR) developed by General Electric (GE) in collaboration with Japan's Hitachi are proposed for Kovvada Nuclear Power Project. (KNPP). The same GE, which built the Fukushima Reactors, was considered a “laggard” in the industry even before its reputation was damaged by Fukushima Disaster in 2011.Since then GE struggled to find buyers for its ESBWR design, which was certified by the U S Nuclear Regulatory Commission only in 2014.

These untested and unproven reactors provide no empirical track record of safe operation, in spite of tall claims by the suppliers based on unreliable theoretical grounds. The industry is itself well aware of possibility of devastating accident, as is clear from its constant efforts to alter India's Nuclear Liability Law.

Lessons from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster of Japan

The Fukushima disaster, which has not been contained even after 4 years, continues to remind many Japanese of the dangers of Nuclear Power. Despite a strong push by the Abe Govt., Nuclear Power finds little support in the country. A poll conducted by a Japanese national news paper in 2014, found that 77% of respondents supported a phase-out of Nuclear Power.
More than 50 years ago, Japan succumbed to pressure from Nuclear Suppliers and initiated a law to indemnify them. Consequently, when the GE Reactors at Fukushima suffered an accident, in part due to design defect that had been pointed out decades earlier, G E was protected from any claims from victims. The cost of the Clean-up, estimated at about $200 billion, has been born almost entirely by Japanese Tax-Payers.

Expensive Nuclear Power

Apart from being hazardous by way of Nuclear Waste generated and likely disasters caused due to design / equipment failures of unproven imported Nuclear Reactors, the Nuclear Power from Imported Reactors is going to be prohibitively expensive source of electrical energy, because of their astronomical capital costs.

A Reactor that costs $11.6 billions in Europe is likely to lead to a first-year tariff of Rs.19 per unit of electricity, against the range of Rs.4.50 to Rs.5.50 per unit of electricity from Coal & Solar Power. If the real and full cost of insurance against accidents of Nuclear Reactors is included in the price, it is going to be prohibitive.

Nuclear Power from the G. E. Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR) is a Very Expensive, Sophisticated and Dangerous Way to Boil Water. The “Electricity is but the fleeting byproduct and the actual product is forever deadly Radioactive Waste.”

Does Nuclear Power provide Energy Security?

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.

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 around 2.50% of the present installed capacity, in spite of huge investments in mega centralized Nuclear Power Projects 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 Nation’s Energy Security depends on efficient use of Energy Services that maximize economic competitiveness and minimize resource depletion, environmental degradation / impacts. The Energy Efficiency / Conservation Measures coupled with distributed and decentralized Renewable Sources of Energy can compensate for more than the proposed Nuclear Power capacity by 2032. It is much cheaper and environment friendly option for Energy Security.


Japan is the unique country which experienced Nuclear Bomb and Nuclear Power Reactor Accident. Both are quite delicate and sensitive to the Japanese Psyche, forcing the Government to respect the public sentiments in respect of Nuclear Power Policy and shutting down all of its Nuclear Power Reactors. Germany, a major consumer of nuclear power, permanently closed 8 of its 17 nuclear reactors following Fukushima; other European countries shelved their Nuclear Plans.

It is time for India to review and reconsider the option of going for Mega  Imported expensive & untested Nuclear Reactors and locating them at places like Kovvada reported to be unsafe, ignoring Safety Precautions and the Public Opinion.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BRS / VRS & Govt. Lands Sale - Death Knell of Hyderabad

HMDA Master Plan 2031

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Plan covering an area of 5965 Sq Kms., notified vide G.O. Ms No 33 dated 24-01-2013, is planned for a time period up to 2031, taking into consideration population of about 184 lakhs, with work force of 65 lakhs. Also taking into account, the present trends of developments, the Inner Ring Road, the Outer Ring Road & Radial Roads, it has proposed a radial-concentric structure of development with new urban nodes and urban centers in all directions to promote balanced development in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Region with a Peri Urban Zone all along the urban area, hierarchy of circulation network to cater to the present and future travel needs of population and activities.
Accordingly, Zoning & Development Promotion Regulations are formulated, conducive to balanced, integrated, comprehensive and sustainable development of area in HMDA, so as to provide congenial surroundings and Good Quality of Life, aspired by Urban Population.

As per Zoning Regulations, the following Land Use Zones are classified in the Master Plan:
1.Residential (R1 to R4)
5.Public, Semi Public Facilities & Utilities
6.Multiple Use
7.Recreation & Open Space & Open Space Buffer around Water Bodies
8. Water Bodies
9. Forest
10. Special Reservation ( Heritage Bldgs.& Precincts, Defence Lands, Bio-
      Conservation & Others reserved for special use)
11. Conservation ( Agriculture)
12. Traffic & Transport ( Roads, Railways , Railway Stations, Bus Stands/
       Stations, Airports and Allied Infrastructure )
Note: The Land Use under Water Bodies, Green Buffers around Water
             Bodies, Forests & Bio Conservation is designated as Protected
           and their Land Use Change is not to be permitted.

Metropolitan Planning Committee
As per the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on 27-3-2006, seeking financial assistance under JNNURM to Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH), it was agreed to constitute Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC), vide Article 243- ZE, by March 2008. And also the resolution by State Government, expressing commitment to implement 74 th Amendment Act, was to be passed within 6 months from the date of MOA & copy submitted to MOUD, GOI.

Accordingly, the Urban Areas are to function as institutions of self government in accordance with Article 243 W of the Constitution of India. And also any changes to approved Master Plans prepared by MPC are to be considered and recommended by MPC to the Govt. as per Article 243 ZE.

BRS & LRS Proposals
Any unilateral regularization of of Buildings / Layouts undertaken in violation of Zoning & Development Promotion Regulations formulated under notified HMDA Master Plan 2031, amounts to violation of Seventy-Fourth Amendment Act of 1992 and MOA signed under JNNURM.
In particular, Building Regularization Scheme (BRS) & Layout Regularization Scheme (LRS) approvals in Water Bodies, Green Buffers around Water Bodies, Forests & Bio Conservation Areas, designated as Protected and whose Land use cannot be changed, may amount to be a Criminal Offense. In this connection, the Chennai High Court order holding “TN Govt responsible for flooding &deaths, as it let Land Sharks Swallow Water Bodies” is relevant.
As per Press Reports , Telangana Govt is reported to have relaxed Rules- Minimum Setbacks & Height -for issuing No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Buildings by the Fire Services Department while regularizing unauthorized buildings under BRS. This is nothing but bending backwards to help/accommodate Owners & Builders of Illegal Structures in violation of National Building Code, Fire Safety & Prevention Rules, Norms of State Disaster Response etc, which may prove to be disastrous to public safety. Where is the Accountability ?

Sale of Govt Land
As HMDA Master Plan 2031 is prepared for estimated population of 184 lakhs by 2031, there is going to be tremendous pressure on land-use and the traffic for intra urban travel. The Implementer of Master Plan will have to give importance and priority for preservation and protection of natural resources such as Water Bodies, Forests, Parks, Hillocks, Open Spaces, Heritage Bldgs, & Precincts , with out treating Urban Land as a Commodity as it is being done all these years.

Protected Areas
The sale of Land, covered under Water Bodies, Green Buffers around Water Bodies, Forests, Bio Conservation, which are designated as Protected should be treated beyond the scope of any future Land transactions as it amounts to selling Environment / Future, in violation of provisions of Articles 48-A and 51-A (g).

Conservation Area ( Agriculture )

The area covered under Agriculture in HMDA area has already come down drastically, because of rapid urban growth around Hyderabad during the last 2 decades or so. This contributed to micro-climatic changes having adverse impact on Quality of Life and shortage of Vegetables, Fruits , Flowers etc grown in the vicinity.

Traffic & Transport Area

The City which is already experiencing serious traffic bottle necks resulting in, far too many Road Accidents, serious Air Pollution etc, cannot afford to loose, any area earmarked for meeting the growing traffic & transport needs up to 2031.

Public, Semi Public Facilities & Utilities
As it is, there is acute shortage of Public Schools, Social & Welfare Centers, Group Housing Facilities, Public Utility Bldgs, Water Supply, Drainage & Sewage Systems, Other Services, Night Shelters etc. As the requirement is going to be multiplied to cater for the growing needs, any reduction of already earmarked area, is bound to have serious adverse impacts on the delivery of essential Public facilities, utilities & services.
Recreation & Open Space
The A.P. High Court in its landmark judgment on WRIT PETITIONS W.P. Nos.25835/96 and 35/97,observed "None of the respondents have been able to dispute the averment on behalf of the Petitioners and interveners that the City's Parks and other Open Spaces are hopelessly inadequate as per the standard in this behalf ……The city is already breathing less than required breath and further depletions, by acts of the state, of the lung spaces of the city will make the breathing more difficult" (Pages 51 - 52).

"Since we have found that the respondents have acted in violation of the fundamental rights of the Petitioners and others similarly situated and we have taken the view that any conversion of the parks to any other use, would violate the rights under Articles 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India, we unhesitatingly accept the Petitioners' plea that respondents have to be restrained from converting the parks to any other use" (Page 59).

"Whatever little scope was available to argue that the Government of the State represent the sovereign and retained thus its eminent domain in deciding in respect of the use of a public place one way or the other is taken away by the Constitution (Seventy-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1992 and Article 243W(a) therein read with the list in the Twelfth Schedule" (Page 49).

In the light of the facts stated in the preceding paragraphs, the State Govt should not be permitted, to unilaterally change the specified Land Use and/or dispose off Govt. Lands, with the sole object of mobilizing the required funds to meet present day requirements. It amounts to treating the precious Urban Land as a Commodity and Depriving the Future Generations, just to cater for the present, without fully evaluating and assessing the long term Environmental, Social and Economic implications.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Draft National Civil Aviation Policy 2015

Taking Flying to the Masses

According to Draft Policy, the Government, proposed to take Flying to the Masses by making it affordable mode of travel for the Common Man. It aims to ensure that at least one member of India's 30 Crore strong middle class families flies once a year, against present 7 Crore domestic fliers in 2014-15.

Priorities of Common Man ?

No doubt it is a laudable objective, but should it take priority over fulfillment of Common Man inherent rights to Food, Energy, Shelter, Safe Drinking Water, Sanitation, Health Care, Education, Economic Empowerment, Social Security and Basic Human Dignity? It is estimated that around 60 Crore Indians are deprived and cannot meet their essential needs. How is 30 Crore middle class people flying once a year, going to help these deprived lot ?

Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)

As per the draft policy, Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) will come into effect from 1 April 2016, with an all-inclusive airfare not exceeding Rs. 2500 per passenger, indexed to inflation for a one-hour flight on RCS routes. As part of RCS, around 476 un-served or under-served aerodromes and airstrips are proposed to be revived as No-Frills Airports, by offering various incentives / concessions to operators of Short Haul Flights.

Transport Sector & Climate Change

The Planning Commission Expert Group Final Report of April 2014 on “Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth”, highlighted the fact that Transport Sector is a significant contributor to the emissions generated by the country, accounting for about 13 % of the emissions from the energy sector. Out of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector of about 142 million tons(mt.) of CO2 eq. in the year 2007, Aviation accounts for 10.20 mt, against 6.80 mt from Railways and the balance 125 mt from Road Transport.
 The Report highlighted lower Specific Energy Consumption in Railways, as low as 6% of consumption in Aviation per Passenger KM vide Table 6-6 of Chapter 6- Transport of the Report. Given the relative efficiency of Rail based Transport, the Report recommended increasing the share of Rail for both short distance passenger movement (regional, suburban and urban)and long distance passenger movement.
Impact of Aviation Sector (Rogue Sector) on Climate Change
In attempting to aggregate and quantify the total Climate Impact of Aircraft emissions- heat, particulates, gases etc- the IPCC has estimated that Aviation’s total climate impact is some 2-4 times that of its direct CO2 emissions alone. While there is uncertainty about the exact level of NOx and Water Vapour, Governments have accepted the broad scientific view that they do have an effect.

The IPCC has estimated that Aviation is responsible for around 3.5% of anthropogenic climate change, a figure which includes both CO2 and non CO2 induced effects. It is estimated that Aviation's contribution could grow to 5% of total contribution by 2050, if action is not taken to tackle these emissions. In terms of damage to climate, it is estimated that Flying is 10 times worse than taking to Train. The Air-Travel is estimated to release 75% more CO2 per passenger, mile for mile, than driving an economy sized car.
The Aviation Sector was reported to be responsible for more than 10 % of the UK's impact on the climate and it is the fastest growing source of emissions and the predictions are that aviation will contribute more than 25% by 2050.The main cause of this massive growth of emissions is proliferation of Domestic Short-Haul Routes. As per data available, Domestic Short Haul flights less than 500 Kms are estimated to release 257 gms. CO2 per KM as against 177 gms. in the case of flights > 500 Kms, in comparison with 113 gms for long distance flights.
Adverse Impact of Government Aviation Policy
The Climate Change is the most urgent challenge facing the humanity and the Aviation Policy of the Central & State Governments, is doing the opposite of what is required, by catering to insatiable demands of Aviation Sector, by way of more Airports, Runways, Terminals, Airlines. etc. in the name of economic development. The latest being “Regional Connectivity Scheme”
The subsidies, liberal concessions, loans etc offered to Aviation Sector by taxpayers’ money,(Classic one being the massive loan package given to Kingfisher Airlines by SBI Consortium) disproportionately favours the economically better off, as those of lower income groups, who fly infrequently or not at all. This goes against the very guiding principle of protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society, through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to Climate Change.
It is of utmost importance and urgency to curtail emissions by restricting the capacity of Aviation Sector- Short-Haul Routes envisaged in “Regional Connectivity Scheme” of Draft National Aviation Policy, without hampering the economic development. The speedy & effective implementation of Recommendations in Section 6.3 of Report on “Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth” with regard to Transport, will go a long way in combating Climate Change.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Transport Vs Highway Networks in India

Transport Systems -Prologue

Transport is the heart of all developmental activities and is essential to economic development and social welfare. An efficient, reliable, affordable and safe transport system is vital for fostering rapid economic growth and it has to be Resource efficient & Eco-friendly, if it has to be sustainable.

Traditionally the goods are moved by Rail or Road or Inland Water transport. The age of Canals in the 19th century was followed by Railway Era, which in turn was overtaken by Road Transport, as the dominant mode of transport, in the latter half of 20th century. The most recent transport infrastructure development is Air Transportation.
The income and mobility have always progressed together and the mobility increases with income. But mobility tends to increase faster than income in the developing economies, mainly because of movements of population from rural to urban areas and of increasing movement of goods. The capacities have always been lagging behind demand, resulting in present sad state of urban environment.

Indian Scenario

Over the decades, in spite of significant development of transport modes, transport capacity has tended to lag behind the requirement of economy, leading to congestion, asset deterioration and high level of energy consumption, pollution and accidents. There is a continuous increase in the share of Road traffic at the expense of Rail. Though successive Five Year Plans took cognizance of these problems, there is inadequate investment in capacity building, mainly because of resource problem facing the public sector that has been largely responsible for transport infrastructure development.

In spite of special attention being paid, particularly in the recent years, for development of transport infrastructure, some areas like North-East continue to be inadequately served and this has affected not only their economic development but even social & political integration with the rest of the country.
The new economic policies have opened new avenues for private participation in transport sector, thus augmenting resources as also increasing the scope of commercial orientation to transport operations. But, Road Transport network got the lions share at the cost of Rail & Inland Waterways / Coastal Shipping networks, which continue to remain in the domain of Public sector.

Road Transportation in India

In a fuel scarce economy in India, heavily depending on import of petroleum products, around 30 % of total energy consumed is estimated to be utilized on transport. A part of this consumption is attributable to inappropriate choice of the mode of transport, bad roads and the obsolete / fuel inefficient technologies used in vehicles.
Sri. B.K Chaturvedi, Member Planning Commission, while inaugurating a regional conference on On Road Safety Strategy organized by International Road Safety in October 2011, is reported to have said that Road Accident Deaths and Injuries cost India at least Rs One Lakh Crore per year. According to a note jointly prepared by the Health and the Highways Ministries, an estimated 1.6 lakh people were killed in road accidents in 2010.

Road safety experts feel that the number of road accidents and deaths reported are less than the actual figures, due to lack of scientific data collection. Road accidents are serious issues, but little attention is being paid to this. While annually the nation loses almost 1.5% of its GDP on account of road accidents, not even 10% of that amount is being spent to make the roads safe.

While Government is trying to push the construction of National Highways from 20 Km to 50 Km every day, there does not seem to be enough focus on making Roads Safe. While designing or building Highways, enough care does not seem to be taken to ensure that there are adequate facilities for pedestrian and for local population, while Highways pass through smaller towns and Rural areas.

According to study conducted by Center for Media Studies across a dozen major transport hubs covering over 1,200 truck drivers, it is estimated that total Bribe amount close to Rs.22,000 crore is being collected on roads every year, by the Police and officials of other Enforcing agencies

Rail Vs Road Transportation

The personalized transport is estimated to consume about 20 times the energy required by public transport buses, per passenger kilometer. The rail systems which are the most powerful and energy efficient systems, having the highest hourly passenger carrying capacity, require much less energy than the buses. Similarly transporting a tonne of freight by road requires several times the energy required to transport the same tonne of freight by rail or inland water transport.

The Western Europe, China, India and Japan account for substantial share of passenger transportation by Rail. In contrast the passenger travel in USA by rail accounts for infinitesimal share of total passenger travel. Even though Rail passenger transport is generally considered to be much more energy efficient, than Road/ Air passenger transport, the Rail’s share of passenger transport is falling steadily all over the world. Similarly the share of freight hauled by Rail and Inland Water transport/Coastal Shipping, relatively energy efficient modes, is sharply declining.

India, with 4 times the Population and one fourth the geographical Area of USA, cannot afford to follow the model of USA, by opting for energy intensive Road Transport network and short haul Air Transport Network, while trying to bring down carbon emissions.

Highways Development at the Cost of Railways

In India, Road Transport has grown at the cost of the Railways. The road ways which carried 11% of freight and 26% of passenger traffic in 1951, handled 34% of freight and 60% passenger traffic in 1971. In the more recent years, the share of road is estimated to have gone up further. The manner in which the distortion has reached, can be gauged by the fact that bulk cargoes are moved by Roads over long distances, even though it is more economical to carry them by rail. The four-laning of “Golden Quadrangle”, with an overall investment of Rs.20,000 crore, at the rate of Rs. 4 crore per km, has distorted further, to the disadvantage of Rail Transportation.

Road Transport & Climate Change

The most crucial issue that transportation planners face, is how to economize on transport costs. The Energy & Environment costs should be the over riding consideration, while determining an optimal mix of the country’s transport system, with substantial energy savings and consequent reduction in carbon emissions and other pollutants. Road transport is the dominant source of emissions that contribute to urban air pollution. The rail transport is relatively environmentally benign, although it contributes to noise.

A well integrated, multi-modal system relying increasingly on emerging technologies, will be an essential element of sustainable transport scenario in the present millennium. Road transport should take care of bulk cargo over short hauls and in areas not covered by rail. The highest priority should be given for the development of rural roads and district roads, connecting to rail-head and other main roads, instead of giving priority only to the National Highways / Express Ways.

Demand Suppression Approach Needed

Too much emphasis on converting National/State Highways into Expressways and building Flyovers, Outer Ring Roads, widening of urban roads etc which is Supply oriented, will only add more and more vehicles on roads, further increasing fuel consumption and adding to air pollution & carbon emissions.

What we need is the Avoidance-Oriented or Demand-Suppression approach, so as to bring down the number vehicles on roads and to cut down fuel consumption and consequential pollution & emissions. The suppression of demand for Motor Vehicles will be strongly opposed by powerful Automobile Industry Lobby and the Policy Makers, as it may have short term adverse impact on GDP growth rate. The introduction of Euro-6 Norms for Diesel vehicles, will be nothing but window dressing, as Diesel vehicles are known to be the worst polluters.

If there is a political will, the suppression of demand for Automobiles, can be achieved by developing and encouraging energy efficient modes like Railways, Coastal Shipping, Inland Water-Transport, Multi-Mode Transport systems, and Product Pipelines for long distance movement of bulk commodities and Metro Rail Systems for urban public transportation.


As Automobile intensive Transport system is one of the major producers of green-house gases emission, It is necessary to encourage the modes of transport mix and technologies, which consumes less energy per unit of throughput and generate lower level of emissions.

Our present way of life is harmful to the Environment, harmful to the population of third world, harmful to poor people in our own country and very very harmful to the future”

Our Technological Society exhibits at one and the same time Breathless Intelligence and Abysmal lack of Wisdom. That we can produce Trident Submarines shows how smart we are: that we do in fact produce them, shows how completely idiotic we are“ 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Join me on this petition!

Please Join Me & Help  to Save Kolleru Wild Life Sanctuary (WLS) 

 I initiated a  petition on 12 th Sept and I hope you can sign, if not already done and assist in spreading the message -- it's called: "Save Kollerru WLS, Important Bird Area (IBA)  & RAMSAR Site"

This issue is very important, and I’m trying to get maximum number of signatures, if not the ambitious  3,000 signatures and you can extend your helping hand 

Read more about it and sign it here:

Campaigns like this always start small, but they grow when people like us get involved -- please take a second right now to help out by signing and passing it on.

 Thanks so much,

Sunday, August 16, 2015

AP Chief Minister Bulldozing Kolleru WLS


 AP State Wild Life Board, presided by AP CM,  is reported to have adopted the Resolution to reduce the area of  KWLS from contour level +5 feet to +3 feet. When the subject matter was discussed in 4 th State Wild Life Board Meeting held, under Chairmanship of Sri Kiran Kumar Reddy then CM, on 10-05-2011, the proposal for reduction of KWLS Area was not accepted. 

The State WL Board Resolution for reducing the area of KWLS, is reported to be coming up for consideration of Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife, at its meeting scheduled to be held on 18 th August 2015. If this proposal is ratified by MOEF&CC GOI, KWLS Area will be drastically shrunk by bringing about 25,000 acres, under Aqua Culture & other Activities, which are not congenial to sustenance of Wild Life Sanctuary.

Dr.Azeez Committee Report

Dr. Aziz Committee, constituted  to study the proposal of A.P.Govt. for reduction of Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary from + 5 to + 3 Contour, clearly stated that the reduction of the area of KWLS is not a viable solution for various socioeconomic & ecological issues confronting the Kolleru and It will lead to destruction of a very valuable and ecologically important & sensitive area for short sighted benefits.

22 nd Standing Committee Meeting NBWL

The Standing Committee of National Board for Wild Life, chaired by then Minister for Environment and Forests, in its 22 nd. Meeting held on 25-04-2011, accepted the recommendations of Dr. Azeez Committee Report in Toto. The Minister stated, as Chairperson of the Standing Committee, would take forward the Report as appropriate, to the State Government of AP for its implementation.

  Lack of Follow up Action by MOEF&CC & AP Govt.

Even after Dr.Azeez Committee emphasized the urgent need for conducting re-survey of boundaries as of now, using advance GPS Technology  and to be completed within a period of 18 months, nothing much seems to have happened so far in that direction, even though more than 4 years have lapsed after accepting the recommendations of the Committee.

Lack of Foresight & Wisdom

The floods resulted by “Cyclone Nilam” of November 2012, in various drains –Budameru, Tammileru etc.- that empty into Kolleru, have caused the waters to rise up and cross the +8 Contour. This has resulted in flooding of several colonies along the banks of Budameru in Vijayawada City, for several days.

It is unfortunate that same N. Chandrababu Naidu, the architect of KWLS in 1999, is behind the Resolution passed by present AP State Legislative Assembly on 22-12-2014, seeking recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife for reduction of boundary of KWLS from +5 to +3 Contour.

It is ironical that AP State Govt. advocating development of newly formed State & State Capital on the models of Japan and Singapore, is working overtime for destruction of Kolleru, one of Asia’s most ancient & largest fresh water lakes and invaluable Wetland Ecosystem of international importance.

Playing With Nature can be Disastrous

The Chief Minister of AP is reported to have stated that man-made lake, twice the size of Hyderabad water body “Hussain Sagar” is proposed in the new capital of AP. It cannot be a consolation for vanishing Kolleru Wild Life Sanctuary spread over about 77,000 acres, with invaluable Wetland Ecosystem of international importance. Can Create A Pond & Not A Wetland Ecosystem ?


MOEF&CC and CM, AP Govt may be requested not to go ahead with the reduction of area of KWLS, ignoring recommendations of Dr.Aziz Committee and without consulting Empowered Committee constituted by Supreme Court . The Public opinion needs to be respected before any final decision is taken regarding reduction of the area of KWLS, instead of Bulldozing .

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet

                           The Theme of World Environment Day, 2015
                    Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.

The 5 th of June was observed as “World Environment Day” all over the World with fan-fare, but back to Business as Usual from the very next day. There does not seem to be marked change in our life-styles, attitudes and behavior in the Consumption pattern of life supporting Natural Resources.

The Environment includes, Land, Water, Air and Food and the inter-relationship that exists among and between Land, Water, Air and Food and Human Beings, other Living Creatures, Plants, Micro-Organism and Property.

We should stop looking at Land, Water, Air and Food as Commodities, if we care for Human Environment and Planet Earth. We should regard them as the ingredients which constitute our body and as an organic part of the Life-Process.

The protection and improvement of the Human Environment is a major issue which affects the well being of the people and economic development of the whole world.

In the name of so called Economic Development, let us not harm Human Environment. Let us learn to respect, protect and conserve Life Supporting Natural Resources, instead of treating them as Expendable Commodities.

Most Insects, Birds and Animals respect the basic elements of the Nature, unlike the Human Beings who are endowed with the Power of Discrimination.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Top Defence Management

The present system of Defence Management is centered round the Defence 
 Secretary, who is entrusted with the responsibility for the defence of India, as per the Government's Rules of Business. In the case of Defence Secretary, the Responsibility and Accountability do not seem to be linked together.

No Defence Secretary has ever been held accountable: 1962 war with China, Kargil Episode, Disparity in defence preparedness between China and India or Lack of suitable & adequate Field Armour, Aging Fighter Squadrons and Naval Fleet.

Post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

The Naresh Chandra Task Force had recommended creating an equivalent of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in 2012 and the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh endorsed it. But the file remains buried in the South Block.

The Civil Service (Bureaucracy), which is the biggest impediment for Defence Reforms, may not permit any reform to go through smoothly, as it may diminish its status and importance in the Civil- Military Calculus.

One Rank One Pension (OROP)

OROP for ex servicemen, was acceded to by the UPA government, echoed by the NDA, and announced again by the new regime after its ascension to power. Prime Minister Modi declared emotionally on his visit to the troops in Siachen that "One Rank One Pension has been fulfilled". Even one year after NDA Govt. OROP remains a pipe-dream – Thanks to the strangle hold of Civil Bureaucracy over (non) implementation of policy decisions.

As far back as 2003, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence recommended One Rank One Pension, calling it "a debt" the Nation had to pay. It is a debt, the NDA Government must honour without any Ifs & Buts. Not to do so forthwith is an act of dishonour.

Disparities between Civil Bureaucrats Vs Service Officers

A Joint Secretary, with nineteen years of professional experience, is deemed the equivalent of a Major-General, who not only has many more years of service but has commanded men and materiel, made life-and-death decisions and protected our nation. Only less than 1% of Army officers ever attain Major General Rank, while almost all IAS Officers are likely to become Joint Secretaries by time scale. Lot more pensions are paid to Joint Secretaries than Major-Generals, yet there there is quibbling about the cost of Defence Pensions.

Supremacy of Democratic Civilian Govt OK, but Not ----

The supremacy of Democratic Civilian Government over Defence Services is a Must, but the Arrogance and Tyranny of Civil Bureaucracy cannot be tolerated and not desirable in the name of Govt.