Thursday, December 03, 2009

The First Cuts (Indian Express) - Think Local & Simple for Effective Solutions

An article published in Indian Express on December 1st, "the first cuts", brings home some basic messages. Read the article here. Article was written by Dr. Kirit Parikh, former member of the planning commission of India and chairman of the Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe)

Five simple solutions suggested are
  • Dedicate railway freight corridors
  • Efficiency of coal based power plants
  • Improve four wheel vehicles fuel efficiency
  • Increase the number of buses
  • 50 million solar water heaters
Any of these solutions are not new. All asking for basic action from the government for high returns.

1. In the cities and in a growing number of the small cities (see passenger statistics), we know the need for public transport. With Mumbai as an exception with a high capacity subway system, most of the cities struggle to support necessary public transport. Even in Delhi, I believe that number of buses are at least at 30 percent of what is really required (see transport issues in Delhi)

2. We have a lot of cars on road. If one can afford to buy, one should buy and enjoy all modes of travel. However, the infrastructure is not up to the challenge and the congestion is increasingly becoming a large drain to any possible improvement in the fuel efficiency of these vehicles (see 2 Wheels and 2 Legs are greener)

3. The efficiency in the power plants and industries. I do not believe we lack the finances to up the technology and the technology is available (may be at a cost). Then what is stopping the change. Personally not a fan of the CDM programs and if that is the only motivation to not increase the efficiency then we are in a sad state.

4. Solar systems is very possible. Look at Magarpatta City in Pune, the single largest solar water heating installation in India.

Where are the bottlenecks?

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