01[In response to news article 'Central Electricity Regulatory Commission orders inquiry into power grid failure' in the Times of India on 06 August 2012]
Nearly 60 crore Indians live in villages with no electricity. The idea of a power grid feeding electricity is totally unknown to them. Oil lamps, candles and fire wood continue to light up their homes and power their kitchens. In 2011 Indian authorities predicted that India would become power surplus in 2015, based on their assumption that coal production in India would be doubled which never happened. This was not because India did not have huge coal deposits or having no advanced technology to extract them. India does have one of the largest coal deposits in the world and does have an advanced technology to extract it though the bulk of Indian coal deposits are of inferior quality, after the privates looting everything good. They were influenced and forced by the world’s large energy sellers to depend more on nuclear power so that India could more be made to rely on foreign countries to make its energy production possible. The new turn of events following the blowing away of a few nuclear reactors in some countries, especially in technologically advanced countries, and the new wave of public feelings against nuclear reactors in general dampened their enthusiasm, especially after the rising public protest against nuclear reactors in India. So now, 4 years after the prediction India remains electricity-short with all states in India crying out for power. 50 crore Indians going without power was a wild dream a few years ago but now that it has actually happened once, it can happen again a number of times. Because atomic energy was declared as the official source of power in the future, India discouraged development of other rural energy sources such as gases produced from cow dung, etc, which is in plenty in India. Methane from cow dung could have been trapped and used to light up and cook food in homes locally or large dairies could have been established attached to power stations. Instead of producing and distributing energy locally from locally available materials, India turned to producing electricity at one or two places massively and distributing it to dozens of distant states by building an elaborate and extensive grid system. Not only methane gas from cow dung but that from vegetable waste and rubbish in villages also could have been well made use of for producing energy locally. Not only would have the villages become energy sufficient locally but the power grids also would have become smaller to build and easier to manage and maintain. The effluents of rubber cultivators in Kerala offered excellent opportunities for authorities there to develop an energy source to meet not less than 40% of that state’s power requirements but misled by the dubious temptations of nuclear energy managers, they decided to rely on power from the upcoming Koodankulam Nuclear Reactor in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu in the future and waived away any suggestion of turning rubber processing effluents into electrical power.
Power Minister of India alleged that a few states drew more power from the grid than they were allowed to draw which resulted in collapse of the grid. The grid collapsed in the very early morning and why should the states draw most power in very early mornings than during night the hours from 7 to 12? Then the explanation came that a few farmers who roam their fields in expensive Rolls Royces and Cadillacs drew excessive power in the early mornings for their agricultural pumps which brought about collapse of the power grid. This shows only one thing, that the ignorant politicians of India officiating in authority as ministers can say anything ridiculous as they do not have any particular qualification to talk about such things. We will ask ourselves whether they won’t be assisted by persons proficient in the field but they are too arrogant to ask knowledge from outside. So we have an energy minister who said minutes after the massive collapse of the country’s three most important power grids for two days that in his own opinion, he is a very efficient and remarkable power minister. Mr. Minister, you are standing stark naked! This fool naturally thinks that no government can exclude him from ministry as he has a few parliament members’ support, the dread of any government that hang on a narrow margin in the house. If spared, the massive space programme alone would have made available enough money for generation, transmission and distribution of the needed electricity and repair, maintenance and overhauling of the existing power grids. But they are going to send two men to space to remain in Earth’s proximity for two weeks! If ISRO is not allowed a few more billions of money to probe Venus and Jupiter, the Earth will condense and crumble under its own gravity and collapse, soon! India that had once solved tough international problems in the time of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi now spends unbelievably huge amounts for purchasing weapons from foreign countries, fearing nearby countries would attack, every purchase alleged to have been motivated by bribes. Foreign Affairs Ministry and their hundreds of incompetent and politically subservient ambassadors to foreign countries do not have nowadays the tactical skill and ability to win human hearts for India and keep political détente among India’s neighbouring countries and India. So, in their ignorance and incompetence, they facilitate creating the atmosphere for making India’s inter-neighborly relations worse, artificially create the need for more weapons and bring more money to Swiss bank accounts of arms dealers, from India’s coffers. That is the help they do India internationally, apart from wasting India’s money abroad. Just as the Indian Administrative Service fleet of officers are silent watchers of the corruption in India, this Indian Foreign Service flock are the facilitators of India’s deterioration from the position as the world’s number one negotiator and mediator.
When the northern power grids of India failed one after the other, the energy minister of India was not willing to accept that there indeed was a problem but he commented instead that North America also has such power failure and black out. The people of India, especially those who had to undergo the ill effects of this total black out for days, were startled at the arrogance of this union minister who within days had to resign from power ministry but was given another covetous position. The Calcutta Electric Supply Company and the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport, two major companies in the field of power distribution in India know better. Like all others, they know well that the incompetence of government headed by ignorant ministers was reason for the insufficiency in maintenance, overhauling and upkeep of the distribution system in India. The government accused the states of drawing more power from the system than they were supposed to but it tactfully remained silent about a customer who recently draws inconceivably high volumes of power and eventually became the greatest power drawing customer during the past two or three years- the Indian Railways. Since its abandoning cheap coal power and turning to full electrification in their railway lines, power consumption in the states increased many times, as it is the states through which power has to be supplied to these lines. This power failure may also have been caused purposefully by a few among authorities who want people to cry for new nuclear plants constructed all over the country. Also people can be made to argue that government holding monopoly of distributing power to some 700 million consumers is wrong, it should be distributed through smaller grids owned by competent private companies, thus preparing the way for privatization of power distribution, the dream of all Indian politicians. Tomorrow these politicians of India will point out that competition with private companies did good to the Telecom sector and that the same would be applicable to the electrical sector also. By causing massive power failures, they are preparing themselves to announce that government monopoly has been proved a failure, power generation, transmission and retail distribution are to be split into three companies and the whole thing privatized. Are these going to be the recommendations of this newly-appointed committee or is the committee constituted with this as the sole objective? Most probably, if it happens, the Electrical scam resulting would involve a few zeros more than the Telecom scam had. It is their country, it is their secret agendas, it is their discussions and decisions and it is their bank accounts lying there with gaping mouths. The people of India do not have any voice in such matters. Look what position the resigned power minister was given as compensation! There is no way to deter them from opening up new fields of operation since Telecom field has almost dried up and been exposed.
People generally complain about power plants being built in their locality even though power is needed for running industries to produce goods and providing employment for the increasing population. Except from increasing the production capacity of existing power plants, government cannot go on much in the matter of generating more power because new plants will become practically unable to be built due to people’s resistance. Restoring the water-retaining capacity of hydro-electrical dams by regular dredging and sand and silt removal is the only way left before the authorities. It would also bring enough sand for construction purposes without depleting the sand in the rivers eventually killing these rivers. Even though the expenses for regular sand and silt removal from dams would be enormous, it is the only available solution left before the government to keep reservoirs fully functional. Every grain of sand washed away by rain from the mountains and from the land finally reaches these obstacles called dams which we built across rivers and remains there, diminishing further the water storage capacity of these dams. Because this de-silting was not done, their storage capacity dwindled steadily through years and is now only a mere 2 or 3 percent of their original capacity at the time of their commissioning. Therefore there is no wonder, the numerous hydro-electric projects of this country cannot supply their intended power for the country. If these dams were de-silted regularly, there would have been no need at all for building nuclear reactors or thermal plants. If we ask the government how many times were these dams de-silted, they would answer that they were de-silted never. How can this happen when there are so many government agencies to monitor the functioning of dams? Even though hundreds of power ministers and electricity board chairmen have issued hundred thousands of press releases in the past, not one of it concerned the urgent need for de-silting rivers. So, not one among the authorities and bureaucrats of India is concerned about generating more power for people in the least-ecologically damaging way but they all are parts of a decades-old plot to sell this country to the world’s most cunning flock of energy barons, whether it is Canadian, Russian or French. So, the energy problem in India is government’s own creation, which a corrupt government created for the sole purpose of building massive nuclear plants and pocketing money. Not de-silting dams for 50 years was their fault. Of the thousands of power engineers and bureaucrats India pay salary for, not one among them insisted that silt removal from dams is mandatory and without doing it, power generation cannot go on. It took 50 years’ cunning to create this situation. Therefore it is not laziness or neglect of officers but cleverly-calculated strategy and tactics involving decades of advanced planning by world power brokers to prepare way for nuclear power generation.
NEW DELHI: Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has ordered a probe into the massive failures of power grids on July 30 and 31.