Saturday, June 02, 2007

Save Silent Valley, Trash Pathrakkadavu project..

The 70 MW Pathrakkadavu hydroelectric project on the border of the Silent Vally National Park in the Western Ghats is once again in the news. While being pursued and proposed by some people, it is being vehemently opposed by others. This hotspot which has been preserved by the state despite lot of developmental pressures now stands the risk of being depleted of it's rich flora and fauna. Unless the state takes the necessary steps, it is going to be part of history. The other hotspot, the Amazon forests is also facing such a crisis of development versus preserving natural equilibrium.

Development is a vital concern for the state. The growing demands of a developing society, me included, of electric power is a threatening factor for governments during election time. Imagine a day one has to live without power. Electricity has become a vital part of our life, enabling us to do many big tasks which our forefathers using raw manual power could never even imagine of accomplishing. The state cannot wash hands off both these competing concerns of these two different groups of people, one trying to preserve and the other expending.

The first and foremost step the state can take to meet the growing power needs is to raise the efficiency of the present generation, transmission and distribution system of electrical power. It is said that with regard to the state electricity boards, this wastage combined with pilferage and theft accounts to almost 43 % of the total power generated. It means one half of the people is paying for and subsidising the power needs of the other half. The other half notable includes the rich, mighty and influential in the society, the so called parasites who live off others. What a pitiable state of affairs in the country.

The fact that the Leader K Karunakaran's daughter Padmaja was stealing power in her house in Kochi made headlines some years back. The state acted earnestly to prevent such leaks. That did defame some of the prominent personalities in the state who were living off the state. The same urgency the state needs to show now to streamline efficiently the transmission and distribution of power. Traning programmes for the Engineers and field staff on the need to conserve energy and to improve efficiency of operations is the need of the hour. As in every sphere of life corruption plays a major role in this sector of the economy.

Using standard, certified energy efficient devices, the need for certifying agencies to rate the different electrical devices and to impress on the companies the need to to self regulate themselves regarding such devices for posterity will definitely take the message of conservation lot ahead. As a first step the state could propose to stop the use of filament bulbs in government offices and homes in the state.

Turning back to mother nature and over exploiting (raping ) her every time we fail in our efforts to discipline and educate ourselves, is a crime not only against nature and our society, but also shows our carelessness for the generations to come.

Let us not forget the ancient proverb (anonymous)

We have not inherited the planet Earth from our ancestors, but have borrowed it from our children.


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