Thursday, February 6, 2020

Separate statehood for Indian regions

Separate statehood for many states:
It's time to split India's big states into separate states. There's too much centralisation of power in states. The states are too big.

In Maharashtra - Marathwada, Vidarbha, Konkan, Khandesh, and Western Maharashtra should be new states. Mumbai would then be either go to Konkan or be a separate state or UT.

Same for Karnataka (Tulu Nadu and others), MP, Gujarat (Kutch, Saurashtra) , Tamil Nadu, UP, Bihar.

When new states are formed, they will get appropriate new infrastructure such as administrative offices and other required infrastructure. That will result in development of the regions that are ignored or marginalised in their states.
These new states can then get direct funding from the center.

People will save a lot of time, effort, money in traveling to the state capital for administrative work. India is too big as it is.

At the moment, state capitals are growing too big. There are too crowded. There are traffic and infrastructure problems. Rents are astronomical. It's time to decongest city capitals.

For example, Mumbai doesn't need to have all the offices of all the government departments. Someone from a remote district of Gadchiroli should not have to come to Mumbai.

Having separate states will help the general public in reduced efforts and give them more autonomy and freedom. It will decongest Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and other metro cities.

It will reduce the centralisation of political powers. A few political families are dominating the states. It has become kind of a family business.

A new bill should be proposed in the parliament to reorganize the existing states and grant statehood to many regions where there is a long-standing demand.

People who are in power in these big states will obviously oppose this. They will cause riots, bandh, strike and so on.
But the government must be prepared for this well in advance. Police should be kept on high alert before this.

Leaders from the regions who are getting a new state must be told in advance and taken in confidence.

From what I have observed, I can say that the central government is much more efficientand effective in getting things done. While state governments are inefficient, incompetent, corrupt and violent.

That's why too much power in the hands of state parties is not good. States should be split into regions that are more manageable and more independent.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Death Penalty for rape plus murder

Death Penalty for rape plus murder

A new bill should be introduced in the parliament that makes death penalty compulsory for cases where there has been an instance of rape and murder of the rape victim.

So many instances are happening in India. This is very unfortunate.

Such criminals don't have a right to live. They are a threat to the society. They shouldn't be released in public. There is no point in keeping them alive in prisons either.

Such criminals should be weeded out from the society. That will make our society a little safer.

Such punishments should be publicised in newspapers and other media. This will create a deterrent for similar crimes in future.

This should be applicable when there is rape as well as murder. In cases where the crime is proved beyond any doubt. Not in cases where there are false allegations of rape. Innocent men should not be killed as a result of this new bill/law.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Electoral reforms needed in India

What's happening in Maharashtra politics is beyond ridiculous. There should be some rules and guidelines in the Constitution about such things.
For example,
1. Pre-poll alliances can't be broken. Parties MUST stay with their pre-poll alliance. The tickets for election are given on the basis of alliances and people have voted for parties and candidates based on their ideology, work and image. People can't be betrayed by breaking pre-poll alliances and forming government with opposing parties.
2. Rules and guidelines about division of ministries and CM, DCM post and their tenure must be decided BEFORE the elections and submitted to the election commission in writing by all the parties in a pre-poll alliance.
3. The single largest party MUST form government with their pre-poll alliance party.
4. In case the parties are not able to reach a mutual consensus on division of ministries, then the ministries should be divided in the ratio of number of seats won by those parties.
5. Which candidate gets which ministry will then be decided by lottery system. If mutual consensus can't be reached within a prescribed time limit.
5. Defection from party or alliance should be banned AFTER the elections. Sides must be chosen BEFORE the elections.

Such opportunistic and greedy behavior should be stopped.
How low will people go now?
They have already betrayed their voters. They have forgotten their ideologies and their stand for so many years.
They are keeping MLAs in hotels. This is getting out of hand.
I'm glad there are no murders or threats. Maybe threats are happening behind the scene.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Pollution Control in India

Pollution control in India:

A new bill (or several bills) should be introduced in the parliament that cover the following points.

(These are the broad guidelines. Some of the information I have might be insufficient. An in-depth analysis with numbers and finances will have to be performed. Legal angles should be seen and the law would have to be made foolproof and such that there are no loopholes. Action plan for implementation and timeline for the same should be prepared as well. Penalty for non-compliance should be decided as well)

1. Coal-fired plants.
Retrofitting the existing plants is under way but it is not being implemented with strictness. A strict deadline of December 2020 should be given and non-compliant plants should be forced to shut down.

Thermal plants would have to be closed eventually.
Retire the existing plants as soon as possible. Retire the loss-making, the unnecessary, the most polluting, the most inefficient and the oldest plants first.

Close them and replace them with solar and wind parks. At the same location or a nearby location. A strict deadline of 3 years should be given. Retrain and reemploy the workforce in these thermal plants in solar parks and wind farms. There should be no employment loss. Employ them elsewhere in government jobs at the same salary.

Ban the construction of new thermal plants altogether by law.

Any new power addition would have to be strictly in renewable energy only. This should be a law.

2. Diesel generators: Ban the use, sale, import, manufacture of diesel generators. There should be strict checking and confiscation of diesel generators that are older than 5 years. Find out the sale records of diesel generators from all shops, online portals and all the possible sources. There could be some restitution given to them in exchange of those generators. Owners of diesel generators should be given a deadline for installation of solar panels instead of diesel generators.

Ban the use, sale, resale, manufacturing or import of diesel generators altogether.

3. Make rooftop solar compulsory in all industrial areas and SEZs in all states and UTs.. It could be in a phased manner in 3 years. 50% by December 2020. 75% by December 2021 and 100% by December 2022.

4. Making rooftop solar compulsory for all commercial meters such as schools, colleges, coaching classes, hotels, hospitals, shops, shopping malls and other commercial meters.

A strict deadline of December 2020 should be given after which the power should be made costlier for those don't have rooftop solar.

After December 2021, power supply should be cut if they don't have rooftop solar installed.

If there is no physical space, then an equivalent amount of rooftop solar capacity would have to be installed somewhere else.

5. Provide hassle-free low-interest loans from all nationalized banks for solar or wind farm. Minimal paperwork and bribe.

6. Form a separate NBFCs for funding rooftop solar and wind.

Take funding from international agencies and financial organisations for the same.

7. Ban the manufacture, sale, use, import of loud and polluting fireworks such as sutli bomb, laxmi bomb and ladi. Rest of the fireworks should be restricted and taxed if possible. This should be irrespective of the religion. Not just for Diwali but for all occasions such as Christmas, New Year, wedding, sports victory or any other celebration.

We can't ban fireworks altogether. But we can ban loud fireworks and restrict and tax the sale and use of other polluting fireworks.

8. Compulsorily scrap diesel vehicles after 15 years.

Check from database and implement without any exception to criminals, violent people, influential people, rich people or VIPs.

There are many old vehicles on our roads that have fake PUC and are polluting. These should be taken off the road as well.

10. Develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure as quickly as possible: Make EV charging points compulsory in all offices, SEZs, malls, apartments, parking lots, on highways, petrol pumps and build specialised EV charging centers.

A strict deadline of December 2020 should be given.

Similar to toilet construction and LPG distribution, it should be implemented on a nationwide scale with crores  of installations in a span of few years.

11. Promotion of startups that are installing EV charging infrastructure by means of funding and easier laws and norms.

12. Aggressive promotion of solar panel manufacturing in India. Without red tape or bureaucracy.

13. Punjab and Haryana and all relevant Governments must buy a sufficient number of stubble cutting machines with funding from state as well as central governments and provide them to farmers for free usage.

A call centre helpline and whatsapp helpline should be started so that farmers can communicate with the authorities for availing these services. Required manpower should be employed on a contract basis for this.

14. Checking of polluting industries in the NCR region and shutdown. Arrest if necessary.

15. Checking of brick kilns and crackdown. With the help of police or army if possible.

16. Add new CNG buses, electric buses, e-rickshaws, e-bikes, CNG taxis in metro, tier 2 and 3 cities.
Private bus, taxi, rickshaw, bikes should be added.
Private bus, rickshaw, taxi operators should be allowed as long as they are CNG or electric operated.

If there are enough number of buses, then odd-even could be made a permanent measure in NCR region.
About water pollution:

17. Make sewage treatment plants in all district places. There are more than 675 districts in India. A better way would be to identify based on municipal corporations and municipality.

A strict deadline of December 2021 should be given.

Wastewater treatment should be made compulsory for industries, colleges, hospitals, hotels, temples, mosques, churches, offices, malls and all such major institutions.

Eventual goals should be recycling of at least 80% wastewater in India.

18. Adulteration of fuel. Crackdown on the same.

Anonymous Whistleblower mechanism. Direct reporting to the central government.

19. Expansion of Ujjwala Yojana. Monitoring. Encouraging people to switch to LPG via widespread awareness campaigns on radio, TV and wall paintings (graffiti).

20. End the monopoly of electricity boards and allowing multiple power providers as long they use either hydel, solar or wind power.

Allow electricity providers to compete with each other and give consumers more options. However, new electricity providers should be 100% renewable.

21. Allow microgrids so that electricity can reach villages and remote areas.
Introduce a bill or several bills in the parliament that cover all these points.

Once approved will become a law and should be implemented strictly.
There are many areas where the authorities don't go. These are crime-ridden areas as well as VIP areas.

In such cases also, the implementation has to be strict. Take the help of police and army if possible. But implement these strictly.

These should be implemented all over India.
Giant air purifiers will not solve air pollution. They run on electricity and consuming electricity causes carbon emissions. The solution to pollution is clean/green energy and stopping ALL the major sources at the root.

Imposing a fine on people or industries does not solve the issue.

Polluting industries should be shut down or there should be some purification/treatment facilities installed.

The problem has to be addressed at the root. The sources of pollution have to be tackled and pollution has to be stopped at the root.

I'm going to send this to all these.

All NGOs working on pollution, PMO, Chief minister of relevant states, NITI Ayog, Amitabh Kant, professors at IITs and IIMs working on pollution control, National Green Tribunal, central pollution control board, ministry of environment

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Health,

Greenpeace India

India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)

Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Urgent measures necessary for reducing air pollution across India

Air quality in Delhi and nearby cities has reached an alarming level. This situation demands urgent and strict measures by the government and many stakeholders involved. Some strict, urgent and undesirable decisions would have to be made and implemented.

Here are my thoughts on the same.

I would undertake these measures if I were the CM of Delhi or the Prime Minister of India.

Some of these measures are being implemented already. I'll list them nonetheless.

1. Banning the entry of diesel vehicles in NCR region
2. Checking of existing diesel vehicles in NCR region. Compulsory scrapping of diesel vehicles older than 10 years
3. Making CNG compulsory for cars, buses and wherever possible
4. Adding new CNG buses (AC as well as non-AC) and e-rickshaws and urging people to use them instead of their cars or bikes. If there are sufficient buses and e-rickshaws then the odd-even scheme could be made a permanent feature. So that people are forced to use public transport on alternate days.

Private operators should be allowed to run city bus services in the NCR region as long as they are CNG operated.

5. Promotion of electric vehicles by various means such as awareness creation, financial incentives and such.
6. Installing EV charging points at all office complexes, malls, parking lots, petrol pumps, housing societies and so on.
7. Strict ban on diesel generators. Checking and confiscation by the government with the use of police if necessary. Give a deadline to install and use rooftop solar instead.
8. Making rooftop solar compulsory for all offices, industries, schools, colleges, malls, government offices, homes, housing societies and wherever possible.

A deadline of 6 months should be given for installation.

But where will the money come from? Not everyone can afford a rooftop solar.

The government must form an NBFC for funding of rooftop solar. It will install the panels with its own expense. The ownership will be with the government. Net metering will be applicable. The end user will get electricity at a subsidized rate.

Another option is providing financing or loan to people and businesses for installation.

9. Providing crop-cutting machines to farmers for free usage by the government.

This will reduce instances of stubble burning by farmers.

10. Monitoring of crop burning via satellite or whatever means possible. Finding the usual suspects. The habitual offenders and providing them free machines for usage in future.

11. Shutting down unorganised and unofficial polluting industries in NCR. Shifting all of them to a separate SEZ (in some other state and in small towns) where there is a facility of waste water treatment and pollution check.

12. Shutting down coal fired power plants. Replacing them with solar and wind parks. Retraining and reemploying the workforce in solar and wind parks.

12. Another measure is ban on manufacturing, use, sale, storage, import or export of loud and polluting fireworks for any occasion. Health of future generations is more important than celebration.

The situation is drastic and demands drastic measures.

I would make use of police force and army if necessary to ensure this is implemented without any exception to VIPs or criminals.

Some amount of discipline is necessary. I won't say fascism but discipline.

Making rooftop solar compulsory

The central government has the database of all the electric meter connections. It should make rooftop solar compulsory for all (wherever there is place for installation. Not applicable for slums where the house is not strong enough or where there is no place for installation)

After toilet construction (10.7 crore), LED bulb distribution (36 crore) and LPG cylinders distribution (8 crore+), it is time for taking rooftop solar to every household.

There are two ways in which it can be done. A deadline of let's say 1 year would be given.

1. The end-user installs the rooftop solar at his own expense. In this case the government has no problem. It will work as a normal net metering system

2. Government starts an NBFC for financing the rooftop solar. It funds the whole amount. The end-user has to do nothing. He or she or they have to just provide their roof. The government will install a suitable rooftop solar on their roof. The government's NBFC will receive regular cash flows from this for the life of this (25 to 30 years). The ownership of this setup will lie with the government. The government will get money from the electricity board at a fixed rate for 25 to 30 years. The end-user will get subsidised electricity from the electricity board. This is like receiving rent for making their space available.

There are 3 entities here. The central government and their NBFC, the end-users, the electricity board.

The terms and conditions of pricing and sharing have to worked out so that it is a win-win-win situation.

Why would the government have an NBFC and fund rooftop solar? To tackle pollution and promote renewable energy. The power generation and cash flows from this are fairly predictable. So, there is little uncertainty in this venture.

Why would the end-user install? It is mandatory by law. They have no option. It is like having an ADHAR card. It is compulsory.

Why would the electricity board pay to end users? Won't it go bankrupt if it pays so much to all. They have no option. They will have to pay. The government will look after them if they indeed become bankrupt.

Pricing and terms and conditions would be fixed by the government. There would be no place for negotiation.

In slums areas or violent and crime-ridden areas, it might be difficult to implement. In rich areas or VIP areas, it might be difficult to implement. But the government must take use of police force if necessary to ensure that this is implemented.
Another parallel process that must go on is shutting down coal-fired power plants. Installing solar and wind parks in its place must happen. The unemployed workforce from power plants must be trained and employed at solar and wind parks or elsewhere. There should be no loss of income for these families.
The government must start an NBFC to fund these. How it will manage it has to be looked at by them. They have a strong balance sheet after all.

This has to be implemented quickly and without bureaucracy and corruption.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Suggestions on road safety

Suggestions on reducing road accidents and deaths in road accidents:
1. Physical speed limiters of speed 120 kmph should be made compulsory in all the four wheelers and heavy vehicles such as cars, tempos, trucks, vans, lorries and such vehicles

2. On highways and bypass roads, where there is heavy traffic and high probability and track record of accidents, speed checking systems such as cameras etc should be installed and fine should be imposed on vehicles that are breaking this 120 kmph limit

120 kmph is the highest speed allowed on Indian roads. This measure will reduce road accidents. It will reduce the impact of road accidents and save many lives.

Even if travel takes a longer time, it will save human lives. Human lives are more valuable than productivity or GDP or efficiency or transit time.

3. The government would have a record of all the vehicles in some database. There should be a checking of whether everyone has installed these speed limiters or not.

4. Some kind of a penalty or incentive/reward kind of a mechanism could be put in place. Such as fuel would be more expensive at petrol pumps for all the vehicles that have not installed a speed limiter. Or some such mechanism.