ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How Much Energy Do We Need?

How much energy we need for a decent standard of living for everyone is a question at the heart of energy planning, but rarely addressed. Generally, such estimation is based on a desired gross domestic product growth. However, even achieving this GDP may not necessarily ensure the satisfaction of everyone’s basic needs. Energy planning should link energy and its end-use and end-user directly, promoting equity, and providing a better monitoring framework for energy use. End-use focused, bottom-up, disaggregated energy planning is such an approach and we urge that this should be the basis of energy planning in the country.

Setting Environmental Standards

This paper analyses the process by which the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, sets new regulations or revises existing ones and compares the Indian processes with those in the United States and the European Union. The processes examined include regulations related to coal-fired thermal power plants and water. The Indian process is ad hoc, opaque, and has limited scope for public participation. This can lead to inappropriate standards, lack of legitimacy of standards, and absence of widespread acceptance, all leading to ineffective implementation. The paper discusses these critical deficiencies and suggests improvements.

Welcome First Step to Much-needed Change

While welcoming the Mihir Shah Committee report for seeking to bring about a very important change in the current institutional structure of water management in the country, this article draws attention to some of its major shortcomings. It also observes that some of the report’s recommendations need a word of caution.

Remembering B D Sharma

A tribute to the extraordinary official-turned-campaigner who brought compassion and understanding to his work on the ground, especially tribals.

Greenpeace Ban: Violation of Rights

(The following are extracts from an open letter sent to the Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, protesting against the decision to freeze Greenpeace India’s accounts.) The move by the central government to freeze Greenpeace India’s bank accounts and block sources of funds, is a blatant...

Hydropower from Sardar Sarovar-Need, Justification and Viability

The Sardar Sarovar Project, like most elements of today's power planning, is a part of the crisis, as well as of the state's frantic, desperate build-more response to the crisis. But it will only aggravate the crisis, as it is financially, socially and environmentally unsustainable.

GUJARAT-State-Sponsored Attack on Pani Parishad

State-Sponsored Attack on 'Pani Parishad' Shripad Dharmadhikary ON May 8, about 40-50 hooligans stormed into the Shreyas Foundation Hail in Ahmedabad where the 'Pani Parishad Convention on Water' organised by the Jal Raksha Abhiyan (JRA) and Abhiyan weekly was in progress. The hooligans were shouting slogans like "Medha Patkar vapas jad and 'Narmada Yojana banke rahegi, etc And even as the keynote address was being delivered by B B Vohra, they snatched away the microphone, started destroying property, beating up and threatening participants, and declared that "all those opposing the Narmada Project must leave the hall immediately

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams Chandrashekhar Pant Shripad Dharmadhikary THIS is with reference to the article 'Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams' by B D Dhawan (May 20). In general, the tone adopted by Dhawan is that anybody and everybody is today criticising the large dams, while irrigation engineers and planners are maintaining a total silence on the issue. He also implies that if they really start speaking out, then the arguments of the critics would stand exposed as baseless. Dhawan talks about hard critics and soft ones, saying that the hard critics raise objections on discipline-specific grounds and that the soft ones have only a woolly understanding of the issue. These distinctions of hard and soft are, in fact, an artificial creation of Dhawan's imagination. In fact, not only are the critics raising very important objections on discipline specific grounds, but are going much beyond this. It is these critics who have really understood the complex nature of water resources, ecology, environment and the interrelations of all these to the development process of the Lountry. Through their understanding of the issue in a holistic manner, these critics are atMe to present an integrated, holistic criticism of the problems of large dams in the socio-political-economic context of our country. It is of course impossible to expect that the irrigation planners, trained as they are to stick to their own disciplines and departments, to even begin to understand this holistic viewpoint. No wonder then, that they, and their spokesman (as Dhawan appears to be), unable to grasp these ideas, are forced to take a defensive stand by calling the critics 'woolly'.
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