Jabalpur | July 2018
PAIRVI/BCPH and CENFA, New Delhi, in collaboration with Janpahal, MP, organized a state level meeting at Jabalpur on 22nd July 2017. Jabalpur meeting was a regional level followed the first consultation held at Delhi on 12th July 2017 to hold discussions on draft National Energy Policy. The draft NEP was put on public domain on 28th June 2017 and the NITI Aayog invited comments from individuals and various civil society organizations. The time given by the NITI Aayog was inadequate to gather response from various groups across the country.
The participants were: Rajesh Kumar (Centre for Financial Accounatbility), Raj Kumar Sinha (Barghi Bandh Visthapit Sangh, Jabalpur), Ravina (PAIRVI, Delhi), Ratan Umre (Dalit Sangh Sohagpur, Hoshangabad), Sunil (Dalit Sangh Sohagpur, Hoshangabad), Munna Burman (Madhya Pradesh Machhuara Sangathan, Jabalpur), Dr G.D Verma (Bundelkhand Jivika Sangathan, Harpalpur Chhatarpur, MP), Pudup Singh & Ram Singh (Jhansi Ghat Kisan Sangharsh Samiti Narsinghpur, MP), Navratan Dubey (Chutka Parmanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti), Prem Singh (Chutka Parmanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti), Govardhan Raj ( M.P Aapda Nivaran Manch, Bundelkhand), Punaram Pathak (Barghi Bandh Visthapit Sangh), Ashok Singh (Gramin Adhikar Manch, Nainpur, Mandla), Sharda Yadav (Barghi Bandh Visthapit Sangh), Anil Karne (Bhu Adhikar Abhiyan, MP), Dr P.K Gupta, Rahul Srivastav (Janpahal and Bhumi Adhikar M.P), Ravindra Murhar, Ram Narayan (Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sabha), Amit Kumar (Swaraj Abhiyan), Manjeet Singh ( Swaraj Abhiyan), Veerendra Dubey (Bhumi Adhikar Abhiyan, Bhopal), Kailash Dubey (Jabalpur), Rajneesh Dubey (Narsinghpur), Ajay Kumar (ISRD, Jabalpur), Devki Bai (Barghi Visthapit Sangh), Savita Bai (Barghi Visthapit Sangh), Ajay Singor (ISRD, Jabalpur), P.K Bose (AITUC/ CPI), Rajneesh Dubey (Narsinghpur).
Energy concerns of the rural areas are crucial. Lack of access to electricity is just one facet while other problems faced by them are not brought to light. Even if they do not get electricity in their homes they do suffer because of electricity supplied in urban areas. India’s 68% electricity is thermal based for which coal is required. Coal mining leads to local people’s displacement, pollution of their surrounding and other health related issues.
Participants who attended the meeting were unaware of any such policy which decides their energy needs and consumption without their involvement. A brief overview of the draft NEP was presented to them. Participants were of the opinion that every citizen has equal right to clean energy and resources should not be exploited to develop one section of the society and decimate the other. Various suggestions developed in the meeting are listed below:
1. Basis for estimated energy assessment and analysis from natural resources has not been clearly mentioned in the draft NEP.
2. Draft NEP seems to be a centralized policy which opposes the concept of public welfare thus violating article 39 (b) of the constitution which says that
3. Draft has included environmental pollution but the mitigation and conservation steps have not been talked about.
4. Proposed policy promotes nuclear power as clean, green and cheap source of energy despite of its various negative ecological, environmental and health impacts. Many developed countries are moving away from nuclear energy. We also stand against promotion of nuclear power.
5. For efficient transmission and use of electricity, there should be a cap on amount of electricity consumed per capita.
6. Instead of proposing new power plants (thermal/hydro), existing plants should be made more efficient.
The comments and suggestions developed through these discussions were submitted to the NITI Aayog in the collective name of participant organizations. Finalized National Energy Policy will show how seriously they have considered the important b and people centric suggestions.