Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Wonder What Will Wake the Delhi Dunderheads Up and Get them to Look at This . . .

The city of New York, arguably one of the world's wealthiest cities even after the thieves on Wall Street stole billions and continue to steal more, has decided, very wisely I must admit, to harness the power of the rivers flowing through it to light the city. The company in question, Verdant Power: is also doing projects in Canada. There are British, Spanish and Portuguese companies who are equally advanced in this area. But one country with a long coastline and a centuries old seafaring tradition, the land of my birth, cannot be bothered to look at using this inexhaustible source of energy - India.

As I think of heavily energy-deprived coastal and riverside cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Vizag etc, there is absolutely nor eason why these cities should not get power from the water that flows on their shores or through the cities themselves. There is no reason why these cities should find themselves with 10 hours or longer in power cuts a day just because the bozos who rule the states that they are located in and the bigger bunch of clowns who are in Delhi don't have the slightest clue about what to do.

Let me point out the sheer stupidity of what is happening in India here:

1. Coal India Ltd has been buying up coal mines in Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming to ferry coal across to India and ruin the already stinking air even more as there is a shortage of coal in the country to generate power with. What about the cost of transporting the coal there? What happens if the Saudis and their partners in crime at OPEC decide to unilaterally hike oil prices like they are working on at the moment? Does anyone in Delhi have the slightest clue about how they would handle this other than get buffoons like P Chidambaram to make pious claims about how great the Indian economy is?

2. Over the past two years, the Neyveli Lignite Corporation has commissioned a 400 MW coal fired powerplant and is set to acquire an additional 1000 MW one. Once again, the coal will come from overseas - the air in Chennai wills tink even more, and the relatively clean air in Pondicherry, Cuddalore etc will also be affected. Fantastic, yes? And Indian money - difficult to earn under the best of circumstances what with bribes paid to the thieves in various government departments - will be squandered on buying and transporting coal from overseas instead of on building permanent infrastructure that would never require any fuel if they build wave powerplants

3. My good friend in Chennai, Mohanakrishnan who has a superb investment blog and I have been talking about the power situation in Chennai in particular and it is particularly bad. News that I have from Bangalore from another very savvy friend, Manoj Barai, is equally unfortunate. Now, when common people are as concerned about the problems that face the country and are aware of the technologies that the rest of the world is using successfully to fight the fossil fuel crisis, why on earth can't the morons in Delhi get their brains to work and find out about the state of the art worldwide? Is this because most of the clowns in government cannot even figure out how to use the internet? But when "commentators on public policy" like the often criticized C A Sadanand (on these blogs at least, where I have little sympathy for ignoramuses who fob themselves off as "authorities" on subjects that they are particularly ignorant about) are the government's eyes and ears on issues like this, what on earth can anyone expect?

4. The Indian economy is a mess - take it from me. A year and a half ago my wife was keen on buying a home in India and went there to check the place out. She returned determined not to waste any money on the place. It took her more than an hour to do a short trip from my former workplace to my parents' home, a trip that, even in the heavily crowded past when I drove there, took less than 20 minutes. The pollution was horrendous back then. I can imagine how much worse it is now. But no, the jokers who run the country have no idea what they should do. No intention, therefore, of putting up clean generation systems and of focusing on electric transportation. Companies like Tata sell electric cars in Norway but cannot do this in India thanks to the miserable goernment of India. When Indian businesses try to do something, they are let down by the government

Yeah, this is an angry post. I am continuously frustrated by the stupidity that exists in Indian government offices - the people of the country are intelligent but, somehow, they manage to get the biggest jokers you can find anywhere to rule over them. Some of them live abroad - I do myself - but we keep our Indian passports, and, friends who have become American or Canadian citizens decades ago, cherish their Indian dual citizenship (I call it second class citizenship because it is worthless as anything other than a multi-entry visa) more than they do their US or Canadian citizenships. This pathetic state of affairs has to end - will it ever? Again, I am a pessimist on this.

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