Highlights of Rajeev Gowda's maiden speech in Rajya Sabha:
The discourse in the mainstream media regarding the Power sector mainly focuses on the inability to attract investments, delays in granting clearances, the Coal India monopoly and the increasing energy imports. Despite the importance of these issues, media only focuses on the supply side. We have not focused enough on the tremendous problems we face on the demand side. Therefore, I urged the Hon'ble Power Minister Piyush Goyal to look into the following issues and solutions:
1. The issue of Access, Energy Poverty and the role it plays in the lives of our children and women.
2. Mahatma Gandhi's concept of 'Small is Beautiful' and the solution of decentralized off-grid solutions towards energy self-sufficiency in rural India. The role village-level entrepreneurs could play in facilitating the same.
3. Creating a nation of solar-roof top producers and provide incentives through policy interventions to enable innovation from the bottom-up.
4. Focus on 'SMART GRIDS' instead of Feeder Seperation. It may have worked in Gujarat. But the Gujarat Model will not succeed in every state. We need state-specific solutions and SMART GRIDS will prove to be a wiser use of capital.
5. Documentation of our wealth of knowledge in traditional architecture and adapting this to 21st century buildings to promote energy efficiency and better building codes.
6. Building synergies across sectors, viz. the urban development ministry, instead of working in silos within the four walls of the Shram Shakti Bhavan.
7. Investing in 'waste to energy' plants in our cities and towns that are wallowing in garbage with strict controls to check hazardous emissions.
8. Adoption of Life-cycle thinking and long term strategies to invest in greener technologies like 'clean coal', while conserving our rich biodiverse ecosystems, and respecting the rights of our tribal citizens towards a future of Low Carbon Inclusive Growth.
I hope our new Power Minister will look into each of these issues and suggestions seriously. I have suggested that his motto should be - 'Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya'. I look forward to your suggestions as well.