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Will India in 2014 follow – NAMO or the NAMA’s ?


India would go for polls in 2014. In the past 10 years, the Euphoria of having an Economist at the helm of affairs slowly but surely dissipated,with the Economy coming nearly to a stand still.

Now a different bubble is being created and that is around a persona, whom many admire and lovingly call NAMO = Narendra Modi. Having seen and heard him up close in 2010, there are none, I’m sad to say in present Indian politics who can match his persona. And here lies the danger.

Because as our Prime Minister elect, it would not be him , who are his fans be fortunate enough to vote for, but a political party – the BJP the acronym for Bhartia Janta Party. And most of its members are not even a close fifth to NAMO in terms of vision and charisma. In fact in India it is very hard to differentiate one politician from the other across party lines, as they all follow a common minimum program of arrogant corruption.

Although there seems to be some disruption in the political scenario in India with the advent and spectacular win of Delhi by the AAP ( Aam Admi Party = party of the common man). It is a group led by a spectacular persona Mr. Arvind Kejrewal. He is the Honorable Chief Minister of New Delhi. And many would agree to bestow the honour of the Prime Minister to him and people of his ilk in India. Honest,upright and with a zeal to serve the Nation. But he too is making a grave mistake with his populist, although well-meaning measures,especially in the Energy & Water sector.

For one who follows the Science of Climate Change and Policy, I’ve not yet heard a single tweet, blog or FB spelling out what would be the approach of this future government on – Global Warming! as their poll manifesto. Both Energy & Water are in the vanguard of this issue.

Neither the Congress nor the BJP has shown any regard to the environment. With forest and the surrounds of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand decimated under their successive governments causing the great havoc of Kedarnath. While the link given in this, points to the science of how this disaster happened, that such events can occur is the matter and prevention thereof should be taken is matter of policy. And this is just one example of failed policy on Climate change and the environment in general.

While one does remember that PM Manmohan Singh did launch the NAPCC in the 2008. ( India has along with all members of the UNFCCC  signed the Bali Action Plan which brought in the NAMA = Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions. And NAPCC or Nation Action Plan for Climate Change is the follow through of that agreement.) The Since and Policy of Climate change actually is the lowest of the low in the list of priority in any of the present political class pretending to govern India and serve the Nation if elected.

One usually does not squander away their life – because its given but just once !

                 But every day we squander water & electricity because it comes to us cheap – although at a great cost to the Environment.

For, AAP the dangerous game it is playing by providing the sops in water & power must be understood in its entire spectrum of benefits and fall-out.

The benefit which can be measured immediately are that it would uplift the poor. Which is a good measure and even advocated in the Millennium Development Goals. The flip side of it would be that the e-DISCOM’s which employ million of people would start to bleed even more than what they are doing now {and are already propped by by sops from the government } and start to fire its employees creating an even more bigger headache in this resource depleted, morally bankrupt and tension filled social fabric.

But the most dangerous situation it would create is that with politicians of all hues ready to ape the “success formula” of AAP would start to provide sops in every possible way.

To squander away something which is not theirs to give in the first place. The Natural resources of a Nation must be put at a premium. There are many other ways to provide relief to the poor and the needy which a Government with an ear to the ground can bring about. AAP seems to have got this aspect right and if the leading National political parties can better it the Country and indeed the World shall find a better way of living.

A few solutions long suggested – Green Building Ideas:Using Solar panels as roofing sheet instead of asbestos; Green Business Ideas: Solar Panels can save water in the fields for farmers. Solar Power: the Messiah for the Indian Oil Companies and the Finance Ministry Green Business Ideas: Solar Net Metering can help provide solar power in the night. Renewable Energy – Empowering Women & Saving Forests.(Redux); Sustainable Cities – Why town planning is important.& last but not the least Sustainable Living – Corruption is the biggest impediment)

 
 

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Sustainability can’t grow under a Managing Director.


Every Wo/man wants to leave their foot-prints in the sands of time. But in trying to achieve that very goal we have accelerated our time towards oblivion. We shall try to connect the dots leading us towards that horror.

GLOBE-Net, May 2, 2013 – New research from the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO), a climate change and finance think tank, shows that the level of public disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions among the world’s largest 800 companies is unacceptably poor. Only 37% of companies are reporting complete data and correctly adopting the basic principles of greenhouse gas emissions reporting. Only 21% had their data externally verified. (read more)

In the recent edition of Energitica India Magazine Ms. Mili Mazumdar; Director Sustainable Habitat TERI asked a very pertinent and thought provoking question – Incentives can lead you to certain points. However, think about this, do you incentivize yourself to breathe fresh air ? (read more)

India Water Portal writes – Contamination from sewage waste, landfill run-offs, pesticides and open drains is the reason for high nitrate concentration in Delhi’s groundwater. Consuming this water can cause many health problems including the ‘blue baby syndrome’ in children. Adults aren’t impacted directly but the fact remains that toxic pesticides are present in most parts of Delhi’s groundwater .Read more at – Delhi groundwater unfit for consumption – Weekly news roundup (April 29- May 5, 2013)

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) 28 Apr 2013 Mumbai – Malathy Iyer : A study by a Navi Mumbai doctor has found a growing incidence of genital abnormality among newborn boys possibly because of increasing exposure to endocrine disruptor chemicals that usually occur in plastic bottles, food wraps, cosmetics, toys, etc.Dr Arbinder Singal noticed an alarming increase -almost 200%-in the incidence of undescended testicles, where the male hormone testosterone is produced. “We found almost 5% of 1,154 full-term newborn male babies had undescended testes,” he said. The last study in India done in 1972 showed an incidence of 1.6%. Singal, a paediatric urologist with MGM Hospital in Vashi, presented his findings at the European Society for Paediatric Urology on Friday. (read more)

In a Country which is obsessed with boys and female infanticide is still rampant, the above news though somber makes a fitting case for the environmental crusaders to argue their case strongly. More so because whether one likes it or not, the effect of poisoning will hit both the rich and the poor alike. More so the rich who can afford to buy biscuits wrapped in triple layer of plastic.

May 6, 2013, 7:25 AM:

For the first time in human history, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will surpass 400 parts per million, according Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which has been measuring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii since 1958.“The 400-ppm threshold is a sobering milestone, and should serve as a wake-up call for all of us to support clean energy technology and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, before it’s too late for our children and grandchildren,” said Tim Lueker of the Scripps Institution in a statement.The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is closely linked to global warming. The more carbon dioxide, the higher global average temperatures have climbed, according to climate science. (This graphic shows how global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been linked in the past 400,000 years).

The reason why we are still in denial mode in almost everything related to sustainability and the ill-effects of Global Warming due to Climate change is very complex. But we will through this article once more try and connect the dots of seemingly unrelated chain of events which would perhaps lead to a disaster so great that mitigation would no longer be possible. And that the situation is almost upon us can be understood through the report above.

But why even after 20 years of continuous efforts by the various arms of the United Nations especially the UNFCCC we have reached this sorry state of affairs ? I would from my personal experience attribute one of the major factor to the designations humans tend to give themselves. While a CEO or MD is supposed to define the scope of work a man is supposed to have within an organization, it is a natural human folly to consider this position; barring a very elite and respected few; as a certificate to rule. Arrogance becomes a part and all that is important is narrow self-interest. This allows for taking decisions which are detrimental to the environment and the society at large while serving to elate the position and power of self using the self-defeating and wrong capitalistic ideas which has led us to this present sorry state. No wonder EIO could only find 37% of Corporates  reporting on their GHG. Business as Usual always comes first. (Business As Usual – a sure-fire guide to kill Sustainable Development Goals.)

Unless a President or a Chairman is made aware that his use of even a simple thing such as air-conditioning and lights in the office has a direct bearing on the environment and health of millions and is made to pay for such luxury; CSR would be a sham which it is in most corporates. (World Water Day – Do you know how much water a light bulb consumes?)The CEO and his/her managers must be made aware that pollution which they do not feel while traveling in closed gas-guzzling SUV’s and drinking bottled water only would not wish away the reality of ground water contamination or keep their newborn child safe from genital abnormality due to plastic poisoning.

Climate change and there related aftermaths would effect one and all.

Washington D.C ! The seat of worlds military and political power. A place were the first citizen and many first among equals reside. And many among those had heard Severn Suzuki speech eons back in 1992 ! And sat smug even 20 years later when she spoke at the Rio  Earth Summit. As one hears her speak it is remarkable to see the body language of many across Nationalities, who had little clue of the storm Sandy growing in the womb of the Atlantic to wreak havoc. A damage so great that the aftermath is still being discovered.

And one of the best examples of it is the related report in Huffington Post Green  04/30/13 12:47 PM ET EDT: Superstorm Sandy released 11 billion gallons of sewage from East Coast treatment plants into bodies of water from Washington, D.C., to Connecticut, according to a report released Tuesday by a science journalism group.(read more).

It is remarkable how Continents apart in New Delhi & Washington D.C ground water is contaminated. We indeed live in a global village. And it is time we recognize that the dangers of climate change and unsustainable living would effect us all.

We all are equally responsible. If one visits the great pacific garbage patch, I’m sure every Nation is represented there in all its ugly mess. The video in the attached link is seriously scary. That this garbage is breaking down into microscopic poisonous particles and getting back into our system may need some more research to be proven conclusively, but the probability that it is being carried back to the land in the belly of fishes or the rain-clouds which helps us till the land for agriculture can’t be discounted.

Humans do what they do; whether right or wrong is because they want to live a life of comfort and luxury. But the havoc they are causing to the environment would make them and is already making them pay a terrible price, as evident from the few reports given above.

But perhaps as a species we change only when the damage is mind boggling in scale. We are perhaps waiting for the incentives we would need to breathe fresh air. Perhaps then it would make business sense to clean up our act.

 

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Green Business Ideas – Sell water at the price of petrol – and reap the ‘fringe’ benefits.


While the United Nations and the top environmental organization around the world are working non-stop to spread the knowledge on the importance of Food and Water, their success in limited. The reason is simple. They haven’t yet shown the money making aspect of it.

Selling water is the Next big business which can make a pauper a King in the coming years. In this article, I shall attempt to give a few ideas of how to amass the wealth. But before that let me set the perspective.

It is a common knowledge that the World’s fresh water is only 3% of the total available water. 97% of the water on Earth is salt water. Of the 3%, water found at the Earth’s surface in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and swamps makes up only 0.3% of the world’s fresh water! 68.7% of the fresh water on Earth is trapped in glaciers. 30% of fresh water is under the ground.

It is also a fact that the World is heading towards a Food crisis, with the World population heading 9 Billion strong and slated to grow, despite the Climate change due to Global Warming. And it must be fed. And to grow food one needs fertile land and water. And therefore one does not need anyone to have an IQ above 300 to deduce the situation as DIRE. As with ever increasing unplanned Urban sprawl, land use change  is happening at break-neck speed, which paves over fertile agricultural land into “housing plots”  and in the process pushing the agricultural land either into virgin forests or less cultivable areas where only meagre existence is possible, possibly because of a lake or pond near by, which fills up during monsoon. But as soon as these areas becomes habitable, being at the Urban fringe the sale value of land far outstrips the reason to maintain it for agriculture. Thus lakes and ponds along with small rivulets get filled up and paved over to create another concrete jungle.

In the sate of Maharashtra, India; 5000  Villages do not have a drop of Water. Similar are the tales in other states of India. They have to rely everyday for water-bearing tankers for even the very basic need of cooking and hygiene.Almost all the big metropolis bring water to the city by denying the rightful owners of the lakes in far-off villages; Delhi 300 Km , Mumbai 100km. Almost 80% of the people living in the City of Mumbai have no idea about the source of the potable water reaching their homes daily – river Bathsa , Vaitarna, are names  not known to many.

A south  Mumbai ( posh) locality girl when asked on TV about the source of the water, considers that water comes from the tap ! Sure it does so that one can have a pool party while the people of the villages near the rivers and lakes, which feed the cities walk around 1000 KM per year, just to collect drinking water. Some need to walk as much as 5KM per day. As it is not possible for a mother to carry all the water required, they press into service girl-child as small as 8-10 yrs old to help collect water!

Before the British ruled India, in the Kingdom of Mysore (a district near Bangalore, Karnataka, India ) had around 40,000 lakes. The Maharaja of Mysore used to spend from his treasury 50% of the expense required and the other 50% came from the villagers either in form of money or labour for the up-keep of these water bodies.As there was involvement of all, there was a sense of belonging among the people and the lakes thrived. With the fall of Tipu Sultan, the British started to rule the state. Among many atrocities, the greatest folly they committed was that while they taxed the people of the state for use of water, they did not contribute in either up-keep or creation of new water bodies. This led to people slowly lose the bond they had with the lakes and ponds and in time they were lost. The story was the same all over India under British rule. At one time New Delhi boasted of nearly 800 ponds. In time Indians valued land more than water, and price of land with modern times rose to such an extreme that today we see ponds and lakes as prime real estate, waiting to be filled up and built upon !

As surface water bodies were destroyed, we in our need of water, dug deeper and deeper bore-wells reaching to the very bed-rock. We have sucked out water to such an extent without keeping any provision for replenishment that almost all our Megalopolis have scarcity of water. Mumbai has a short-fall of 1.8 Million litre of water per day!

We have even managed to empty the underground water table. It takes 100,000 years  for rainfall to percolate and fill a water table!

Our  lackadaisical attitude, combined with greed and ignorance is such a heady cocktail that today we have been able to completely kill 600KM of the sacred river Yamuna ( all other Indian rivers have more or less the same fate) so much so that the water flowing in it is nothing but discharge from the sewers of New Delhi which reaches the holiest city of Vrindawan. Not content with that, the Industrial Estate which were set up at the fringe of the Megalopolises; with complete disregard to rules and in connivance with State the Pollution Board & Environment officials dig deep-bore wells and discharge highly toxic waste into the water table. Substance like Arsenic, Fluorides, Lead, Mercury and Cadmium either go into the Rivers directly or into the ground-water table. It has been found that around certain regions of Delhi, the Spinach which is grown and considered a very healthy food, has a few 100 times more than the “permissible” ( a corrupt corporate practice followed all around the world ) limit as envisaged under the food & drug act and the pollution control board.

And we all know that, lead -arsenic-mercury-cadmium poisoning can not be good for the health.  Yet, successive governing agencies have not only allowed industrial discharge into the rivers and aquifers, but have been lax in checking or finding a solution more conducive. Furthermore treated industrial water, foolishly thought to have been completely decontaminated is used for irrigation, thus permanently poisoning not only the area around the industrial waste but everywhere and everyone who come in contact with the food or food product around the Country.

This knowledge is slowly percolating down the thoughts of the common person through sustained campaign by NGO’s. And they are starting to ask questions to the administration which in India has a default setting of being reactionary rather than pro-active. The link in above image  tells us how much percentage of water is safe drinking water.

But the problem is that we have exploited the water system to such an extent, we are left with nothing to fall back on. Today, it is shameful to call our Nation a progressive one because more than 80% of India still depends on the yearly rain-fall to grow crops. We have made a hash of our irrigation scheme and decontaminating our rivers. And the recent irrigation scam unearthed has perhaps taken us back by decades in this effort.

Simply put, without fresh water life is not possible. Because whatever age of civilization we might happen to be, the 3 basics – Food, Clothing & Shelter would stay in same order of importance. And for growing food we need WATER.

Therefore the best Green Business Idea today for millions of Rural Indians would be to create their own village comity and practice the age-old wisdom of capturing rain-water. The famous stepped-well of the western India to the lakes and ponds which belonged to the village community should be revamped.

So what is the revolutionary idea in it? Every water expert worth his salt has written tomes of books on it. Well, as per my knowledge goes no one has written about what I am suggesting.

Declare water as a “cash crop” and “essential commodity”. Price each liter of water to the same price of Petrol! Allow it to be traded in the stock market and let market forces govern it. While protecting the poor and the economically weaker section through grants and subsidy, as it has been doing for petroleum products.

Lets look at a few hypothesis –

The moment the government announces a scheme that it shall pay for conservation  of water and allow for trade of lets say 500 million liters of water per day say  at Rupees 10/ litre of water from every rural district of India to feed the city and industries, within one year each and every dried and neglected pond and lake would be spruced up in every village across India with each villager eagerly awaiting the advent of monsoon.

The village panchayats ( elected administrative body) would not allow any pilferage of  funds, which happens in the grandest scale in India and actually build the water reservoirs. It would also ensure that plantation of trees do take place and stop the denudation of the rain-forest, which is principal in retaining the ground water and reduces evaporation.

Let us now take the water requirement of Mumbai. The city’s water requirementis  4250mld. (million liters per day ).  However, it receives only 3,350mld. Six lakes in and around Mumbai supply water to the city. Upper Vaitarna supplies 630mld, Modaksagar 455mld, Tansa 407mld, Vihar 110mld, Tulsi 18mld and Bhatsa 1,900mld. However, 20% of the supply (or 600mld) is lost due to leakages and theft. Moreover, the supply from Vihar and Tulsi lakes is mainly used for industrial purposes.

And what would happen should the government increase the tariff to Rupees 30 /per litre ? The land-sharks who grab prime land meant for parks would be booted out of cities along with their political protectors and citizens would comply with zeal and gusto all municipal directives for rain water harvesting and ground water recharge within their residential societies. Recycle of grey and  black water would become norm. For no water guzzling Indian citizen would like to pay that kind of price for water. They would be better off having their own supply and earn a few million form the government scheme by petitioning it to make it applicable to them too. After all why should the villagers have all the fun?

And if the tariff be raised to Rupees 50/per litre ? Corporates would kick into action and innovation in building design and town planning would be in the lines of building sustainable cities. The unplanned Urban sprawl would be arrested and pristine open ground, parks and lakes within the city limits would become norm. Rivers would get cleaned up and offending industries and municipalities penalized.

Further not only the city dwellers would save the precious water but actually find the ways to trade in water. Just as the large oil tankers berth into our ports, so would Indian water tankers berth into theirs, pumping out the precious water for  the dry and parched countries, which have also been growing in size and population. And desalinated water may be less a requirement, when the exchange rate between the Indian Rupee vs their money is factored. Indian water could turn out to be a cheaper option.

For long experts have been asking governments to charge the actual tariff for water. Now, one can not only think of doing so, but actually be applauded for the effort. And in the process save the total ecosystem.

While with my limited knowledge I may not have got the concept right, but I am sure that experts in the World who understand money and geo-politics would find some currency in this idea because –

A few years ago, the BMC (municipal corporation of Mumbai city) had ambitiously proposed to the state government to draw water from phase II of the Koyna dam in Chiplun (Ratnagiri district), about 300km from Mumbai. The proposal to draw water from the Koyna dam may give 1,69,800 million litres of water on an annual basis to the city as well surrounding regions like Thane and Raigad. According to the state government’s plan, the project would cost about Rs40,000 crore.  According to officials of the water supply and sanitation department, the government discharges about 1,69,800 million litres of water from the Koyna dam to the Vashishthi river at Chiplun after generating power. The state government’s water supply and sanitation department had  decided to undertake the project on a build-and-operate basis. It had invited interest bids to which 12 companies have responded.

As one can see from above, the business of water is a superb business. But it is only understood by a few and exploited for good measure. There would be absolutely no doubt in the minds of ordinary Indians that of the Rs 400,000,000,000 a huge amount would line the pockets of many. While the rightful owner for right of first use to the water – people residing in Chiplun – would be denied even drinking water.

So would it not be possible that similar humongous amount of money be used for some of the concepts I have proposed above ? If the government could find and make popular the Renewable Energy Scheme under the National Action Plan for Climate Change; of the 8 action plan one is for Water !

In this planet the only thing that we human understand is money. Gold &    Black Gold    (petroleum) is hoarded because it has a stupendous price tag. Make water equally costly, give it the respect it deserves. Because, neither Gold nor petroleum can quench thirst! And it is important that all of us recognize this problem. For the very existence of civilization is dependent on it.

 
 

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Green Business Ideas :Bombay can produce 2MW / day of Electricity by just adding Piezoelectric tiles on railway stations.


While better building designs are happening all over the world, what puts India & China apart from the other BASIC countries is the sheer population. A lot of predictions are happening that the per capita emission from India & China would be more in the coming years than its polluting friends the EU, USA, Canada, Japan and the rest.

It requires a serious leap of faith as how would India, which although called an Emerging Nation could ever have a per-capita emission of 20 ton CO2e when most of rural India still burns a kerosene lamp and that  amount to around about 2 watts of light, and that  too only for 4 hours as the fuel even though heavily subsidized, is still costly for them. One has to however, agree that the megalopolis of India namely Mumbai (Bombay) & Delhi followed by Bangalore, Hyderabad,  Chennai, Kolkata and other class I & II cities are catching up to the consumerist character, without moderation in its run up to be known as advanced and “happening” Cities. And here there could be a danger of the citizens catching up to their EU / US  counterparts in matching the CO2e emission, in the nearest future.

So, what does the Indian cities have which the American / European cities don’t? Which is usually a bane but in this instance can be turned into a boon? Simple – mind-boggling population. If we only tap the Urban population traveling in suburban trains we can do wonders in reducing CO2e. Let me take a little more time to explain how.

The Mumbai Suburban Railway is the oldest in Asia, it was founded in 1867. It is owned by Indian Railways and is operated by Western Railways and Central Railways. With a length of 303 km, It has highest passenger density in the world, 6.3 million people daily travel by the Suburban railways, within Mumbai & its suburbs. I bet this population would be more than many countries.

Now imagine if we can place Piezoelectric tiles in all the suburban station? Just at the entry point?  Lets do some simple calculation.

Let say an average person, weighing 60 kg, will generate only 0.1 watt in the single second required to take two steps across the tile of size 2 feet x 2 feet. So if we multiply population by the watt produced;  6000000 x 0.1 = 600,000 watts.

This would be around 600 KW of electricity generated per day.

We would off-course need more than just one tile, this is just to explain the logic. And a minimum of 2 MW per day could be generated from the suburban stations alone. All that would be required is to understand the cost factor and incentives from the Government, to initially popularize it.

Now if we increase the scope of the tile and use it in malls, hospitals, sub-way entrances the City would start to generate a decent amount of energy, which can then be used to power the street lights and common lights. As it would become more and more popular, India would perhaps start manufacturing this locally and soon having piezoelectric door mats at the entrance of lobbies in housing societies around the City. Or perhaps China, with its superb business acumen start manufacturing and selling them in India and other South East Asian countries.

The most beautiful thing about this invention is its portability. Once adapted to Indian conditions,  various State Governments could create a program along with reputed NGO’s to  carry out them in remote village schools. The power generated by Human feet can really empower and revolutionize India and even African, South East Asia and Latin American Nations.

 

 

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Bangkok floods – Next, New Delhi ?


Almost all of us have read it. Most have seen footage in TV prime time News while having our drink/dinner. The devastating floods of Bangkok which is more or less unprecedented. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/11/07/thailand-bangkok-flooding.html  But watching Bangkok day after day for the past one month I started to think what if we have one such flood in New Delhi or Mumbai or for that matter  Kolkata ( Calcutta ) in Bengal where the great Ganges flows? I mean if you look at the images it looks similar to many South Asian cities across countries.

Well we have seen floods, in India especially it happens to the hapless villagers in the states of Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam more or less every year. Army helicopters to the rescue etc..etc. But with rapid urbanization, especially unplanned, lopsided and utterly dysfunctional Center/State/Local governmental development rules, add to that the people who are mostly uninformed and do not consider Environment, Health & Safety as an important factor in their lives. We too are fast going towards disaster!

If we just take the 2,525 km of the river Ganga into consideration some of the major towns and cities we would encounter are  Patna , Kannauj, Kashi, Allahabad, Murshidbad, Munger, Baharampur and Kolkata. Almost all are growing cities of modern India and are important cultural centers from the past. I can bet my last dollar that the term “Development Rules” would be an alien term to most of the inhabitants in most of these cities/towns. Now, Mumbai & New Delhi is different. Almost all have heard of it but never ever follow it. Sainik Farms, Adarsh..etc etc. The rich & famous of Mumbai & New Delhi are the proud custodians of the most corrupt practices as far as DC rules go. To them I would like to quote form the News papers about Bangkok –

“Floodwaters encircled two industrial estates in the east of Bangkok on Monday and closed in on the center of the capital”.

“It is now only about 7 km (4.5 miles) from the Silom business and entertainment district at the heart of Bangkok.”

“The estate has 254 factories with almost 50,000 workers. Consumer goods giant Unilever Pcl, Johnson & Johnson, Isuzu Motors and Honda Motor Co all have plants there. Honda, which was only just recovering from Japan’s earthquake in March, has suffered more than most.”

“Bang Chan, another estate north of Suvarnabhumi airport, is also threatened. With 93 factories and about 13,000 workers, it is home to food firms such as Nestle SA and President Bakery Pcl, which makes buns for McDonald’s”

Should one notice the above quotes – Industrial Estates, Commercial Districts, Cars, McDonald’s.. just like any big city of India.

Just like any big city of India which has not listened to saner voices warning of development near or on flood planes close to the river/sea.Where the Architects / City planners have either not cared or were forced to bow down to the Political masters. Politicians have only one agenda – power for self. Greed & Corruption are mandatory requirements for most. Almost all are literate but hardly any educated enough to have the wisdom to understand the long-term ramification of lopsided planing.

The banks of Yamuna (Jamuna) both on the banks of Delhi & Noida (UP) have been over exploited. The greatest shocker was to find the games village being built on the flood-plane ( dry river bed ) during the last Asian Games. Mumbai too keeps on encroaching the salt pans & mangroves. Maharashtra now has started chewing up the western ghats in the grab of Lavasa. The ghats are principal to Monsoon. Without them we will not be able to experience rain-fall as we know now. But who cares!

Now Bangkok does. When the flood is over, the why and how will be looked into; the report will not surprise any environmentalist because we already know the reasons. Its time the citizens of cities around the world start “google-ing” Sustainable Cities. Our salvation lies there.

 

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