Skip to main content

Why eye 3.5 GW N-power by 2030 without diligently prepared national energy policy?

By Shankar Sharma* 

There is yet another development of serious concerns in our country's energy sector, as news link NTPC eyes 3.5 GW N-power by 2030, in talks for SMRs suggests.
It is impossible to notice any rationale, or due diligence, or coherence in the approach/ policy/ practice of various segments/ agencies in achieving a common welfare objective in the context of various provisions of our Constitution and various specific laws of the Parliament.
It would be a great service to our nation if our authorities can demonstrate how the planning/ implementation of the construction of scores of conventional technology power generating plants (nuclear, coal, gas, hydel plants, and even the large size solar/ wind power parks etc.) and the associated infrastructure are in the best overall interest of our people; why they are essential; how they are demonstrably better than suitable alternatives; whether a diligent analysis of overall costs and benefits to the society will be in unambiguous support for them etc?
It will also be a serious let down of the trust of our people to continue to ignore such a Constitutional requirement.
One example of the dichotomy of policies/ priorities in nuclear power sector is as follows:
Whereas the unacceptable and avoidable costs/ risks of nuclear power plants to our impoverished people is well researched/ documented because of the unpleasant experiences from all over the world since 1950s; and whereas the economy of large size nuclear reactors in one location (such as 6*1,650 MWe units proposed for Jaitapur in Maharastra) has been argued as a necessity since decades; our authorities are now keen to embrace a new technological argument on SWRs even without waiting for even a single project to be realised any where in the world.
Are there any official documents indicating how SWRs are essential/ better for our people?
Without a diligently prepared national energy policy which considers the projection of demand/ supply scenario for the next 30- 40 years, all such knee jerk reactions (such as embracing the small modular reactor (SMR) technology or pumped storage power plants etc.) can only lead to multiple and humongous costs to our people in addition to multiple threats.
It is also disappointing to note that national level agencies such as National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) or Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have not demonstrated any due diligence in considering such risks/ costs to our people at the national level, despite many representations. The ever escalating threats due to Climate Change, such as severe water scarcity and heat wave conditions, will only worsen the overall hardships to our people.
But none of our political parties/ intellectuals seem to be interested to consider such credible threats to our people. So the hardship for our communities can only continue and escalate.
---
*Power and climate policy analyst

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

How US is using Tibetans to provoke conflict with China 'ignoring' India

By Lobsang Tenzin*  On July 12, US President Joe Biden signed the Resolve Tibet Act, and Tibetans cheered for it, believing that the law promotes a resolution of the dispute between Tibet and China. Is this true? First, let's look at the issue of the ownership of Tibet. 

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.