TODAY -

We need a way out of this listless darkness

JC Sanasam *



We need a way out of this listless darkness



Another odd thing is the people of Manipur, so sensitive to local and trifle matters, have not raised any credible issue in matters related to power supply which is kind of a light for the modern development and civilization. What a tragedy!

If one wants to know what is remarkable in Manipur, apart from Sports, Art & Culture, Literature, crimes & murders, corruption, political imbroglios & its related insurgency spill-over, is there anything else which we can boast of? Nil, I am afraid; there is nothing of the good positive kind. Now, of course, there is a term called Sports Industries; but have we been able to convert our sports into an industry?

Likewise, have we been able to squeeze out some utility, economically or commercially viable (not a word of good taste) from Art & Culture or literature? Aesthetic and important they are but they hardly play some sustaining means for livelihood. Perhaps, some individuals have made good money from insurgency activities, may not be the intent of those among the hard cores though. It is very disappointing.

If one gropes further in, one can safely say we are not bad in e-technologies; may not be at par with the world scale. Again, the sad part is the question: do we have in Manipur at least some palpable amount of power energy which is again the all-in-all basic requisite for e-technology too? Can an ordinary citizen in Manipur enjoy a full cricket match or a movie or a full international football match screened in the TV? It is a big 'No'. The power supply in Manipur, except for the so called VIP line, never lasts for a short span of one and half hour even. For that matter, is there any power line called 'the VIP line' in any other part of the world? Not in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura or anywhere else.

When are the Ministry (Power) and its department in Manipur going to wake up from their deep snoring slumber? Are they still going to be in the trait of spending their job-days yawning, gaping at the snatching activities of transformers to be burnt up, erecting sub-stations to dwindle functionless, earning comfortable money and salaries and handing over the charge of the everlasting 'no-plan, no-action' designations to the subsequent incumbents? What are the planners and government men for?

How much of its budget is the government of Manipur spending for the salaries of the employees of the Electricity Department? Is the expenditure worth of its efficiency? Well, they did mention certain plans, Tipaimuk Dam, Loktak Downstream and a few. What have become of them? They are unable to say anything to clear away the rhetoric of the enthusiastic environmentalists. Another odd thing is the people of Manipur, so sensitive to local and trifle matters, have not raised any credible issue in matters related to power supply which is kind of a light for the modern development and civilization. What a tragedy!

If the Manipur technocrats in the Power Department are unable to execute anything in their plans, cannot they think of other alternatives like Wind Power (power generation through windmill turbines) or solar energy or nuclear energy? These are the areas people worldwide are looking for in the recent times. As of 2011, 83 countries around the world use wind power on commercial basis. It now has the capacity to generate 430 TWk annually which is about 25 percent of worldwide electricity usage. Wind power market penetration is expected to reach 8 percent by 2018. Speaking axiomatically, it is always better to go for the novel things instead of licking the obsolete and abandoned left-over in matters of visions for the future.

Windmill farms, they say, can harness power better in offshore areas; but are also no less good on ridges and hills. Manipur has plenty of hills and ridges. Wind power is clean, plentiful, renewable, consumes no fuel and emits no air pollution. The energy consumed to manufacture and transport materials used to build a wind power plant is equal to the new energy produced by the plant within a few months. If they are unable to think of large major farms they surely can think of small-scale wind power microgeneration that has the capacity of producing up to 50KW, good for a secluded community. If they have no knowledge of such new technology they can always take the help of experts from other countries.

Windmills do have a few side effects, of course; like birds and bats being killed (not on a large scale); reduction of the charm of landscape (but those in California rather give a spectacular impact to the visitors and tourists). Windmills produce a low hum of which some inhabitants nearby complain of sleep disturbance. If environmentalists would like to object to these minor non-hazard discomforts even, then they better live in past history in an age like that of stone age.


* JC Sanasam wrote this article for the Hueiyen Lanpao.
This article was posted on February 13, 2012



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