Sunday, December 21, 2008

More of What Won't Be Available in India Thanks to Governmental Stupidity

To add to the duffer-headedness in Delhi which makes for no real availability of clean power, there are good vehicles which would work on electricity and which would be excellent for India considering the low speeds that are typical of Indian city traffic, very high fuel costs, and the horrendous pollution that is a hallmark of Indian cities.

They won't be available because the country doesn't want to build the infrastructure to support them. Look at what is missing and which will continue to remain missing and weep:

1. The Optimal Energy Joule Van How about a 7 seat passenger van which runs on electricity and can go 400 km on a full charge?

2. The Nemo Urban Truck Like a number of Canadian electric neighborhood vehicle designs (all are restricted to 30 km/hr maximum speeds and are not permitted on expressways) this would be a superb, low polluting vehicle for the Indian streets especially for transporting food etc - home and office deliveries are becoming big in India. Why can't the country look at making life easier for the Mumbai dabbawalas, for example? Do the hard working, simple dabbawalas who have the country's first six sigma business, not deserve to modernize? And if they could do it using clean power, wouldn;t it be even better?

3. Considering how many townships are being built (luxury ghettos is what I call them) how bad would it be if the promoters kept cars away from individual buildings in garages at an external perimeter and used vehicles like these to transport people to their homes and back to the parking areas? The buildings could have thin film solar photovoltaic generators on their roofs to cherge them, or rooftop wind turbines. Keeping cars away from the actual buildings would keep the children safer, keep pollution further away and also provide security especially if visitors are also vetted and kept away until they are actually brought to the buildings in these vehicles by security staff. After Mumbai, you would think that some common sense would enter the builders' brains. Sadly, these seem infected with the same stupidity virus that affects the babu-neta cliques across the country.

Yes, this is one more angry post. If you're as angry as I am in agreeing with me, or for that matter, angry at me for my views, do post back. Yes, I am interested in seeing what happens in response to these posts. As I always tell my friends, bouquets and brickbats are equally welcome.


B.Mohanakrishnan said...

Hello Mehul
I just realised something after reading your blog.Most of the people reading it are probably like me.They have heard about wind and solar energy but really dont have a clue about what it is about,other than a vague idea of it being good for the environment and the wallet(in the long run).
To change perceptions you will have to teach,not preach.You did ask for honest opinions hence I am taking the liberty.
How about designing a diploma course on alternative energy and the environment and offering it through a University like Annamalai? Or as part of the curriculum in some `B` school? Try IIPM.Of course you would have to show the institute the benefits of adding this subject to their existing curriculum.
Another alternative is to tie up with an American University or start your own and offer online courses in alternative energy/humanities etc. You could then have enrollments worldwide.
Maybe you could talk to some NGO`s also.Those involved in serving the truly helpless and downtrodden are likely to be interested in cost cutting measures that could save them a lot of money in the long run. Money that could be used more productively.
However you would have to spend out of your pocket first.You will have to move around and give detailed presentations on the advantages of photovoltaic cells. Be prepared for disappointments too.You will have to be stoic and literally move from door to door.Surely there are people out there who when they grasp the merits of your arguments would be glad to invest.

Mehul Kamdar said...


There are several courses in the USA for engineers, technicians and also MBAs now in Renewable Energy. The joke is that some of the early successes in this field were companies like Suzlon Energy in India. Somehow, the "chalta Hai" and "vidungo saar" attitude that we find in India pushes us along without necessarily getting us to improve. And there lies our biggest tragedy.

Believe me, as a part of the US system, I know that several US unoversities would love to collaborate with Indian universities and colleges. However, they run into that Indian barrier called the Universities Grants Commission. Even the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad which gets a lot of support from Carnegie-Mellon University (one of the very best in this country) does not have UGC recognition as far as I know. SO how is this information going to come to India? My feeling is only through the media. American universities will not bother to come there because it is easier for them to give scholarships to Indian students to come and study here.

An even greater tragedy than what I started to talk about, I guess . . .