Power and its infrastructure

By Ajit Chak

Most states in India have embarked upon ambitious power infrastructure programmes but by the time these programmes are executed it may be time to declare these technologies as obsolete.

The amount of power gadgets consume now has gone down drastically and a time will come when gadgets may generate their own power needs from solar energy or sound waves. The need to set up huge substations and huge powerlines may also vanish as the size of power plants may shrink rapidly and their ability to produce power may increase considerably. Decentralised and cheap power production based on renewable sources may replace the old coal and oil and even nuclear based plants.

As it is the Russians have already developed portable nuclear plants which could be installed in the interiors of the nation, while wind mills in villages and solar towers could provide electricity instead of the village being connected to a grid. However the power establishment in each state will oppose such moves as it will make the government employee redundant in the process of supplying power.

The difference between the Chinese approach to both infrastructure creation and defence and the Indian approach is that while the Chinese do not hesitate to leapfrog to a new technology in India we prefer to stick to old technologies till they are banned by court orders. Had Delhi not leapfrogged to CNG based transport and stuck to diesel vehicles then probably the city would have been a gas chamber today.

It is here that research organisations like the Centre for Science and Environment and the IITs of the nation can join hands to create new technologies and knock offs of the latest and state of the art electricity producing wonders that could provide electricity and power to areas which are deficient in power.

Power and transport expansion plans need to be futuristic and not surrounded in red tape and influenced by a poverty of thought. Otherwise we shall never be able to reach the levels of prosperity that we want to, even if we wipe out the black market economy and end corruption in the nation.


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