At page 12 of the SUNDAY TIMES OF INDIA dt 05/08/2012 (Bangalore edition), there is an article titled SIX STEPS TO FINDING LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS by person by name Srivatsa Krishna wherein he states “We can’t let environmental precautionism be converted into environmental Talibanism!”
How true! Most of the faces which support environmental issues do not know the ground realities. Mr. Krishna says during the course of his article, “INDIA ADDS AN AUSTRALIA IN TERMS OF POPULATION EVERY YEAR; YET OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES IN TERMS OF ELEPHANT CORRIDORS AND TIGER CORRIDORS CONTINUE TO SUPERSEDE HUMAN WELL-BEING.”
The context in which these statements have been made are with reference to the power tripping of the Northern and North-Eastern grids last week. The shortage which had led to this crisis is mostly because of delay in sanctioning the various (12 statutory approvals and 4 non-statutory clearances) approvals which take upto 6 years! Naturally, even after the submission of the Reports the proposer company has to pursue approvals for 6 years and who can pursue these proposals for free? So the cost could be borne only by companies which do not have a borrowing cost on their money!
As a panacea for the ills which have beset most of the states on these grounds, Mr. Krishna proposes that power theft has to be dealt severely, like is being dealt by the Gujarat government. The cost of power for industrial and domestic use should be rationalized vis-a-vis the cost of production. Thirdly, the write-offs on the electricity bills should not be forced on the Distribution companies as transmission losses. Fourthly, newer projects should be expeditiously approved and units added to meet the rising demands. He further states that Gujarat has done these things and had overcome the crisis which beset Gujarat a decade back and that the other states need to just follow suit and things would return to normal.
More than the diagnosis and the panacea, Mr Krishna has prescribed, i liked the coinage of the phrase ENVIRONMENTAL TALIBANISATION! If Mr Krishna had used PROCRUSTEAN METHODS instead of TALIBANISATION I would not have been excited. Procrustes, the Mythological character from the Mediterranean, used to make his guests lie down on a cot and if the cot was too big, the guest’s body would be pulled to fill up the bed and if the guest was longer than the bed, the guest would be “cut to size”. In either case the guest’s plight was pitiable and subsequently fatal. Procrustes would do this to kill his guests and take their wealth and belongings. Procrustes was a TREACHEROUS HOST. But TALIBAN, not only wanted the followers of ISLAM to follow what they BELIEVE as the Gospel of God, but to believe what they believe of Islam. They want the citizens to BELIEVE!
Environmental issues have no tangible proofs and are highly speculative in nature. But so much of hype is created that EVEN children are being infused with BELIEFS instead of KNOWLEDGE. It is the infliction of a BELIEF SYSTEM which has led to ENVIRONMENTAL TALIBANISATION!
I agree entirely with the article of Mr. Krishna, who from the Executive Record Sheet of the officers of IAS, appears to belong to the Karnataka Cadre, where Environmental issues are of great importance. I do not for a while suggest that ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES are to be ignored, when raised by the activists, rather let us rationally dispose of the issue based on whether the issues are imaginative chimaeras or real probabilities. Let not the GROWTH of this generation be stunted, based on the NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PERCEPTIONS spread by the PARANOIA of a SPECULATIVE FEW!