For managing Environment, India is known for policy without law and law without policy and if both Law and Policy exist then there is a lack of determination in implementation agencies. This is almost applicable for all environmental programs where policy is compromised due to lack of law, Law is compromised due to lack of government willingness. In recent past the scenario has changed. There are various government initiatives for Energy and Environment Management where Policy can be correlated with laws and implementation agencies has reached the masses such as Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, toilets for every citizens.
Team theearthview have had an opportunity to discuss with Dr. Ruchi Gupta in an interview regarding the various aspects of government initiative on Energy and Environment.
In Delhi, residences are not billed for water and get subsidized
electricity. Isn’t this increase the wastage or causing over-usage?
In my view, it is one of the
mechanisms to control usage. The schemes on reduction in electricity and water
bills are linked to consumption limits. For example, in the case of
electricity, up to 200 units, the electricity bill is free. Beyond 200 units, the
consumers need to pay the bill as per the tariff slab. So, to avail the
benefits of the schemes, consumers have to use the resources wisely.
Various State Governments are providing low-cost electricity or
free electricity to farmers to strengthen them. This often results in the
overexploitation of groundwater for irrigation. Do you think it will create a
water crisis in future?
In our country, there is an
over-exploitation of groundwater for irrigation purpose. If the consumption
will continue at a similar pace, no doubt, water scarcity will emerge as a big
challenge. There is a need to deploy water-efficient irrigation practices and
also awareness among farmers.
As a Policy, Rainwater Harvesting was made mandatory in metro
cities, do you think likewise solar panels also need to be made mandatory?
Well, we can’t relate rainwater
harvesting with solar rooftop implementation. For solar panels, technical
feasibility assessment is essential and the projects also involve financial
implications to the Discoms. Therefore, a detailed study becomes important
before imposing any such mandatory provisions.
The average temperature of the earth is getting increased, the
inconsistent weather pattern is quite common. What should be our mitigation
strategy as a developing nation?
India already has set ambitious
targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through eight National Missions.
Under the National Missions, there are independent targets and mitigation
strategies to combat climate change. The mitigation strategies include adopting
energy-efficient practices; adopting renewable energy sources; promoting more
sustainable uses of land and forests; opting advanced transport such as
electric vehicles, etc. In my opinion, in India, the challenge lies in the
implementation of programmes. So, strong implementation strategies are required
for achieving the targets as aimed under National Missions.
How a common man can contribute to a healthy and
Every person can contribute to
building a healthy and energy-efficient environment. There are several
By reducing electricity consumption,
Use of public transport,
Reuse and recycle products,
Tree plantation, etc.
Dr. Ruchi Gupta has about 15 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. She has worked in various clean energy programmes and supported for policy studies, feasibility assessment, training and capacity building activities. Ruchi holds a doctoral degree in water resources and a master’s in Environment Management.