Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FLUSH OUT TERRORISTS

It was Bangalore yesterday and today it is Ahmedabad.It can be any place tomorrow; Kozhikkode, Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram. Blood stained dead bodies and torn away body parts strewn all over, the scenes of the dastardly acts of the cowards refuse to fade away from mind, a numbness creeping in. Immediately after every such attacks or bomb blasts the authorities emerge with the usual worn-out phrase of "we have already warned". What happened to these warnings? Why these wrnings were not heeded to?
Each and every intelligence agencies, central or state have been filing reports of massive arms piling in many parts of the country and about possible terrorists attack. And these intelligence always turns out to be accurate, which is confirmed produly after losing lives of many people. Once the impact of the incidents goes from memory the intelligence reports are thrown to trash. Many reports point towards terrorists presence in Kerala especially in its northern parts. Sadly, no serious action has so far been initiated to contain it or to find out the anti-nationals. Caste-based politics is acting as the detterent in taking any action against the terrorists. Caste is the vote bank and appeasing them is the prime concern rather than fighting the anti-nationals. It seems that everybody is scared to act agasinst the anarchists and traitors.Let us not wait for another tragedy to happen but act right now sternly to flush out terrorists and traitors from our country for ever.

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival is here again. Organizers claim that it is brought again because of its success last year. What was the success? A sensible person is at pains to understand how the festival benefited either the State or the people.
Kerala is a consumer state and starting from rice people have to depend other states for all their needs. Is the shopping festival for increasing sale of these products? What our state gain by officially promoting products of others? It will only benefit the traders who can use the official patronage to raise their sale and profit and not the people who even otherwise buy them through out the year. For sponsoring the festival we are spending Rupees 20 crores from the exchequer! Grand Kerala Shopping Festival is a foolish idea. It is rather Grand Kerala Traders' Festival. Neither tourism nor the Kerala industry will get any advantage out of it. Is it sane to expect a tourist to land Kerala shopping for products much cheaper every where else in India? We should be realistic. Kerala is not Dubai. Being the consumer state Kerala is most affected by the spiraling prices and people are struggling for survival. What we have to do is to put up shopping centres at district headquarters seling consumer durables and electronic goods. The shopping centres should have special arrangement to showcase traditional Kerala products and products from Kerala Industry. The 20 crore largesse can be used for setting up such centres, each at 1 crore. The festival season is coming, beginning with Onam and if the initiative is taken now it will a great relief for the people.

Friday, August 1, 2008

POWER CRISIS IN KERALA

Kerala has been pushed in to darkness. Power cut to the industry and load shedding to the public. Authorities have been forewarned months back about this eventuality. But none have bothered to listen and instead tried to fool people with tall claims. Total inaction on their part reached us where we are now.We do not have a comprehensive energy policy. All we talk about are the electricity board and their hydro-electrical projects. Kerala’s total dependence for its power need is on hydel projects and we do not think about any other sources of energy. Big hydel projects are not practical here considering the peculiar nature of Kerala. The irony is that while the authorities strongly advocate for new hydel projects they fail to get the optimum utilization of the existing hydel projects. Faulty generators, leaky penstocks silt-filled reservoirs and mis-management contribute to less than capacity generation of power.
Other sources of energy
Tapping non-conventional energy seems to be alien to the authorities. Solar and wind power are renewable sources of energy which is abundant in Kerala. The gross potential of wind energy in Kerala is around 9000MW and our production from it is zero. We should start exploiting these never ending sources. It should be made mandatory for big shopping complexes, star hotels, apartment complexes, villas etc. to generate themselves at least 25% of their consumption from solar power. Similarly industries and large scale energy consumers should be made to have own wind mills to generate part of their consumption.
Action
What we need now is a team of professionals with vision to chalk out a long term energy policy. This power cut is a big blow to the industries in Kerala which is already ailing. This will adversely affect the deteriorating economic conditions of our state. How funny that while industrial units are closed due to power cut, hotels, textile shops, jewellery shops and similar establishments stands fully illuminated for hours together in the night burning lakhs of units of precious electricity. This happens because of adoption of wrong priorities. What we have to do is to make all shops close at 7 PM. This will in no way affect their sale as people will make the purchase next day. But it will definitely save a lot of power which can be utilized for the industry.

Nuclear deal -Why hurry ?

It is quite intriguing that why both India and US are in such a hurry to fianlise the neclear deal. India says the deal is to be clinched before Bush leaves as the present offer is tremendously in its favor. Bush is also very keen to do it fast for reasons undisclosed. US is putting immense pressure on India. Why US is so particular that India should get all its energy needs from nuclear reactors? Why they are so concerned about India? Why they are particular about India's economic development? Is it to be believed that US is doing all this out of love for India? This is not Bush's personal gift to India. This deal can be done even after Bush. Bush will not get any personal mileage out of it as he is no more in the race for next president. So there exists some hidden agenda.
Why not a public discussion?
Many of our nuclear scientists like former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Dr. P.K. Iyengar, former chairman of Atomic Energy Board Dr. A Gopalakrishnan and former director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Dr. A.N. Prasad are against this agreement and demand a public discussion before entering in to the agreement. The deal will weaken India's nuclear deterrent and restrict indigenous R & D in nuclear technology. No uninturrupted fule supply is guaranteed in the agreement for reacotrs which India will place under US supervision. Article 5 of the 123 agreement simply states that US will join India in seeking to negotiate with the IAEA an "India- specific" fuel supply agreement. But this 'India specific' has not been defined so far and IAEA is not a fuel supplier. The agreement talks about " corrective measures that India may take to ensure uninturrupted operation of its civilian nuclear reators". These 'corrective' measures also have not been difined or made known to anybody in India. But the US has made sure in the agreement that "India will place all its civilian nuclear facilities under India-specific safeguards in perpetuity". Reprocessing the spent fueld has also many restrictions. Article 6 state that new national reprocessing facilities to be made for it. But it will take many many years to materialise. So the agreement is more beneficial to US.
Gains of US
Let us see what Washington gains out of it. India-Iran-Pak Gas pipeline project in which India is benefitted much is detrimental to US interests. Stopping it is one aim. US has a lot of nuclear bombs with them which they want to decommission as the cold war is over. Bomb grade plutonium so got can be sold to India as fuel. Further big American companies like Westington, General Electricals etc. are now out of business and India will be a good market for them once the deal is made. India has started eyeing oil exploration in Caspian sea and other parts, which is an eyesore to US. Sweet talk of this "tonnes of clean energy" can turn India away from such expeditions. India has lot of uranium to be mined. Once the deal is done India will not be able to explore that. So the benefit to US will be many fold; clearing their dead stock, making money out of it, turning away India from oil explorations, preventing them from developing own uranaium and finally the most important, getting control over all of India's nuclear programmes and thereby gagging India and preventing their development for ever.
US nuclear front
It is said that US has not made any nuclear reactors for the last many years and they are depending on other sources, not on nuclear energy, for their increasing needs.
Ecological disaster
We have seen Chernobil and the fate of many nuclear ships and submarines. Even the spent fuel generated in US is still kept not knowing what to do with it. The radiation will hunt humanity for millions of years to come.