The second one was about the deals signed by the Reliance Power with the Arunachal Pradesh state government. Four deals for hydropower projects have been signed. The piece reports that, with these deals, Reliance Power’s hydropower portfolio reaches 4,620 MW in Arunachal Pradesh. The author claims that it is one of the largest in the country’s private sector, compared to that of the state-owned NHPC’s 5,175 MW installed capacity.
So, what is annoying about these?
The first report projects a Rs. 650-crore World Bank scheme as the superlative plan to help debt-ridden farmers. And the second report seems impressed by the huge figures of installed capacities. But, neither of them evaluates the information on the basis of root-causes. And hence, do not leave space for the reader to form his opinion, but merely serve to promote the interests of project proponents.
The World Bank may teach our farmer marketing skills, but, is it only lack of marketing skills that has put Indian agriculture in trouble? Or do Indian farmers need to learn the know-how of farming their own soil from the World Bank?
What will be the cost of farm produce that will reach us consumers through sophisticated marketing channels? Will we afford it?
Instead of endlessly taking up such costly training schemes, how about reviewing and revising our misguided agricultural policy?
What is our ‘real’ requirement of electricity? Do we need large hydropower projects to fulfill it? Is it essential to have them in an ecologically fragile state like Arunachal? Did the government or the company check the ecological viability of these hydro power projects before signing the deals? And, what is the earlier performance of this power company?
Can all strata of our society bear the environmental costs of such projects? Rather, in the first place, are we aware of the fact that electricity generation has a huge ecological cost, and so it is with modern agriculture and marketing techniques?