Posts tagged ‘Himachal Pradesh’


Forest fires and logging threaten India’s progress on climate goals | Reuters

Since the end of April, fires in parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have destroyed or damaged 26,000 hectares of forests, and killed three people, officials say.

The forest fires, touched off by timber smugglers, poachers and farmers, have been a particular problem this year as a result of high temperatures and low rainfall, experts say.

Nationwide, the country is losing an average of a million hectares to fires each year, according to a 2014 report from the government’s National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).

The losses, combined with those from surging illegal logging, mean India has lost 2,511 square kilometres of dense and moderately dense forest since 2013, according to the Environment Ministry’s 2015 Forest Survey of India report.

That loss is a significant worry for a country trying to dramatically reduce its climate-changing emissions. As part of pledges made toward a new global deal to curb climate change, agreed in Paris in December, India has said it will increase its ability to store carbon in forests and land by up to 3 billion tons by 2030.

But criminal activity, extreme weather and flawed data all stand in the way of India’s quest to go greener, experts say, and the problem in Uttarakhand illustrates how hard achieving those goals may be.

Source: Forest fires and logging threaten India’s progress on climate goals | Reuters


* Women voters in India want to stand up and be counted

It’s about time!

Reuters: “Several years ago, a dinner-table conversation about state elections in Himachal Pradesh veered towards a candidate who gave away pressure cookers to woo women voters. Of course, bribing voters is illegal, but I remember wondering whether all I wanted as a woman was a pressure cooker.

The Delhi rape case and the molestation of a young girl in Guwahati in Assam last year have underscored the place that women often occupy in Indian society. These incidents have made me wonder to what extent our country’s political parties will focus on gender inequality as they look forward to the 2014 general elections. How will they vie for the women’s vote?

Until now, political parties and their largely male leadership focussed on the ‘aam aadmi’, or the common man, a phrase which subsumes women. Politicians and other public figures don’t make much hay of gender inequality and many of the attitudes toward women that hurt a large portion of our society — and when they do, they’re often lacking. The best attitude that politicians often apply to women is a patronising one. Instead of focusing on women’s empowerment through education and awareness, politicians distribute saris, cookers and sanitary napkins.

There is some attempt to change that. The Congress party’s weekend “Chintan Shivir“, or brainstorming session, in Jaipur put a special focus on women.

“Discrimination against the girl child and atrocities against women are a blot on our collective conscience,” party chief Sonia Gandhi said while opening the gathering. “Gender issues are fundamental and should be of concern to all of us.””

via India Insight.


* Northern India hit by one of the worst power breakdowns

The Hindu: “In what was one of the worst power breakdowns in the country, the Northern Grid crashed early Monday morning plunging eight states into complete darkness, disrupting inter-state train services, adversely hitting health services and impacting millions of lives.

The tripping of the 400 KV Bina-Gwalior line, which flows into Agra-Bareilly at 2.35 a.m. wreaked havoc on the power generation and transmission systems leading to shut down of all major power plants including hydro power stations in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, which are all a part of the Northern Grid.

The immediate impact of the grid collapse was the shortage of around 32,000 MW of power. The last such collapse of the Northern Grid, which caters to around 28 per cent of the country’s population, took place in 2001. India currently faces around 8 to 12 per cent peak power deficit, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The massive shutdown had a crippling effect on inter-state passenger and goods trains that came to a screeching halt. Early morning office goers and school children had a harrowing time as traffic signals went on the blink leading to traffic chaos in the affected States including the Capital Delhi.

Hospitals too had to scurry around for alternatives and back up supply. A majority of the hospitals claimed to have alternate supply arrangements, yet reports of services being disrupted trickled in from several places.

Operations at the major oil refineries in Panipat, Mathura and Bhatinda remained unaffected as these facilities have their own captive power plants and do not rely on the grid for supply.

While Power Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde said he could not pin point the exact reason for the collapse, PGCIL and Northern Region Load Despatch Centre officials said that it was rampant overdrawal by Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana that led to the collapse that in turn paralysed services.

The last time the grid collapse occurred was in 2001, it has happened now after 10 years. At that time, the power breakdown took place at midnight and normalcy was restored by 4.30 pm.

PGCIL chairman and managing director, R.N. Nayak said the situation had been restored to normal by 4 pm. The Northern grid was generating around 29000 MW of power by late evening, which was about 2000 MW of the peak demand.

Hit by the sudden collapse of the grid system, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) officials swung into action with Mr. Nayak and his team of officials reaching their monitoring centre at 3 a.m. to assess the situation and work on a rescue package. By 8 a.m., PGCIL officials claimed to have restored around 40 per cent of power.”

via The Hindu : News / National : Northern India hit by one of the worst power breakdowns.

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India