WHO’S BENEFIT? AT WHO’S COST?
Do you know what the cost of electricity you consume is? Here I am not talking about the amount of electricity bill you pay for your consumption; it is the cost which goes into the production of electricity. Surprised , yes apart from the natural resources used and other labour cost, a large scale destruction, displacement of villages and effect on their livelihood, along with a long lasting impact on the environment are involved in it too meet our never ending needs.
After Indian markets where opened to capitalization and foreign direct investments which lead to rise of big corporate companies and billionaires in the country and also the rise in population resulted in the demand for more electricity. To meet these “So Called Needs”, construction of dams on large scale took place. Dams on the Narmada valley throws light on how destruction and displacement have destroyed the lives of thousands of people residing there. Today thermal plants have come up in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh with protest from the locals as it not only destroys the wetlands in the vicinity but also has a long lasting ecological effect. And for the future, proposal have been made to built nuclear plants, for which the works have already begun in Jaitapur, Maharashtra and kowada, Andhra Pradesh leaving a scope for accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima.
These entire projects are taken up with an argument by the administration saying that they are development projects for the “People” of the country. The incidents like police firing in kakarapalli, illegal arrest of locals in Jaitapur raise several questions. If these project where really for the benefit of the people then why are the locals opposing these projects? Why the government orders an open fire on the locals and the same being killed? Why today people are illegally being arrested? Why does the construction work take place in the presence of a huge police force? And who is actually being benefited from the electricity produced?
To draw your attention I would like to just take one example here, 27-storey building Antilia of Mukesh Ambani consumes electricity of worth 70 lakhs monthly for just three people which can be used by 7000 homes in Mumbai. During my interaction with some friends, one of them pointed out that it is his hard earn money and I have no right to question the way he spends it. Yes, it’s true I have no right to question the way he spends it but when people’s resources are exploited to produce electricity and the same is consumed in a Vulgar Fashion then we have a right to question. The people of Narmada have a right to raise their voice, the people of kakarapalli have a right to protest, the people of Jaitapur and kowada have a right to say NO and the nation has a right to ask for whom is this electricity being produced for? And who is paying a price for it?
As the heat is rising today we have started using air-conditioners. CFC’s used in air-conditioning depletes ozone. So the heat on earth increases everyday and we use more air-conditioning to get away from it. The big question today is should we stop development then? The question should be how much development do we need?
An Appeal– Do we truly need any more technology than we already have? Or has science and technology and gadget frenzy become new madness of modern man? Why have we stopped listening to nature like our forefathers did and like the animals and birds do even today?
Dear friends the time has come that we all need to look into ourselves and do a self introspection over the worldly pleasures we have been enjoying at someone else’s cost. In the final checks and balances, we might win, but history has proved that it is more likely that nature will have an upper hand. We need to take up an initiative and reduce our electricity consumption and its wastage. Remember Newton’s third law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Today if we continue exploiting our mother nature, the days won’t be far when we will have to pay a price for it.
THE WAY OUT–CONSUME LESS & USE ECO-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES
IT IS POSSIBLE–YOU ONLY NEED TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP
Associated with National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)