The Question Of Power Generation In India

Posted on October 30, 2011 in Society

By Sohini Chattopadhyay:

Politics is well linked with economic systems. 2G scam, mining scams in India are enough ironic proofs of this nexus. In an increasingly organised world system, both cannot remain in water tight compartment. Macro economics is closely knitted with politics and a separation can hamper both.

The demand for a separate Telengana state is a political struggle with backings of socio-economical rationale. This political quagmire in the Telengana struggle in Andhra Pradesh has resulted in a coal crisis in southern states. Karnataka is a glaring example of this repercussion of this coal shortage where the state government is contemplating two-hours of power cut everyday in Bangalore, four hour cuts in tier-II cities like Mangalore and Mysore, and six hours in rural areas. Consequently citizens, vendors and business enterprises are going to face power cut blues for some time.

The fact that coal crisis is going to continue even if there is no political hurdles are a given fact. It is an amateurish case of demand and supply where demand for power is increasing and the supply of coal is bound to decrease due to natural conditions. You can’t plant a sapling and expect it to turn into coal in your lifetime. To put things mildly, it takes ages.

Therefore, it is high time that political action should take large-scale even if drastic measures to deal with alternate sources of energy. Interestingly, the nuclear deal that was under such stringent controversy, (an off-shoot of which I believe was the beginning of the decline of the Left forces in India) comes as an important diplomatic move that is important for the future development of the nation. The Japan Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi crisis that triggered a wide scale fear of nuclear leakage shouldn’t be taken as a detriment to nuclear power itself, but should be taken as caution that shall encourage setting up more secure nuclear plants.

Of course, nuclear energy generation requires high level of security, governmental regulations and diplomatic procedures to prevent misuse; therefore while it is a viable long-term plan, the government needs to flag off large and small scale solar energy generation, tidal energy, wind energy and hydro-electricity. All these are of course known facts that take prominent places in school text books. But what remains to be solved is the gap between the actual need of such programmes and governmental policies that directly address these issues, because somewhere between the war of words amongst the representatives and prospective representatives of the people, such issues that go beyond ‘corruption’ and ‘communal disharmony’ are lost in translation. It’s time to bring in the question of power generation into the mainstream discussion of regional and national politics, because all our roads to development depend largely on it.

The writer is a student of History, 3rd Year, Presidency University Kolkata.