The HINDU Notes – 17th July 2019 - VISION

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The HINDU Notes – 17th July 2019

📰 321 protected monuments, sites encroached upon, Rajya Sabha told

No study to assess impact of illegal constructions: Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel.

•Over 300 Centrally-protected monuments and sites, including World Heritage Sites, across the country are “under encroachment”, according to the government.

•Responding to a question by Nationalist Congress Party member Vandana Chavan in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State (independent charge) for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel admitted that Centrally-protected sites and World Heritage Sites had been encroached upon.

•Asked whether a study had been done to assess the impact of the illegal constructions or encroachments on the sites, he replied in the negative.

•“Although no impact study has been done, proactive steps have been taken by the Archaeological Survey of India under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and Rules, 1959 to keep the historical monuments free from encroachments,” he stated. Of the total 321 encroached-upon monuments and sites that Mr. Patel’s reply listed, the highest number were in Uttar Pradesh (75), followed by Tamil Nadu (74), Karnataka (48), Maharashtra (46), Rajasthan (22), Delhi (11), Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab (seven each), Assam, Bihar and Odisha (six each), Himachal Pradesh (three), Madhya Pradesh (two) and West Bengal (1).

•Among the monuments that have encroachments are Purana Qila in Delhi, Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, Sun Temple in Konark in Odisha and Brahma Temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan.

•The Minister’s reply stated that superintending archaeologists of the ASI were authorised to issue show cause notices to remove encroachments.

•“In order to contain the encroachments and remove them, the superintending archaeologist in charge of the Circles have been vested with the powers of Estate Officers to issue eviction notices/orders to the encroachers under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971. In addition to the regular watch and ward staff, private security personnel, State police guards and CISF have also been deployed for the safety and security of selected monuments,” the reply said.

📰 Chinese check: on economic troubles

China’s famed model of growth is under pressure due to fall in exports and investment

•The Chinese economy is seeing the first signs of trouble after long years of sustained growth that rode on cheap labour and high volumes of exports. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday revealed that the economy grew by 6.2% in the second quarter, its slowest pace in 27 years. This is in contrast to the growth rates of 6.4% and 6.6% reported for the first quarter and the full year of 2018, respectively. The faltering growth rate was due to a slump in exports in June amidst China’s ongoing trade war with the United States and the downturn witnessed by sectors such as housing construction, where investor sentiments play a major role. Many economists believe that the worst may not yet be over for China and that economic growth could further worsen in the coming quarters. But just as growth seems to be faltering, the latest growth figures also showed that the retail sales and industrial output components of the growth numbers witnessed steady growth, suggesting that domestic demand may be compensating for the dropping appetite for Chinese exports weighed down by high tariffs. But with China still heavily reliant on exports and its trade war with the U.S. showing no signs of coming to an end, the pressure on growth is likely to remain for some more time. So the Chinese government, which has tried to boost the economy through measures such as tax cuts, increased public spending and a relaxation in bank reserve requirements to encourage banks to increase lending, will hope that domestic demand for its goods will hold up the economy.

•China’s quarterly GDP numbers, while useful in many ways, don’t reveal very much about the underlying challenges facing the country. One is the need to improve the credibility of data released by the Chinese government. An even larger challenge is the urgent need to restructure the Chinese economy from one that is driven heavily by state-led investment and exports to one that is driven primarily by market forces. The high-growth years of the Chinese economy were made possible by the huge amount of liquidity provided by the Chinese state and the large and affordable workforce that helped build China into an export powerhouse. But now, with China’s tried and tested growth model facing the threat of getting derailed as the export and investment boom comes to an end, the Chinese will have to build a more sustainable model, or forfeit hopes of double-digit economic growth in the future. As of now, there are no signs to suggest that the Chinese authorities are looking at implementing deep-seated structural reforms reminiscent of its early decades of liberalisation that can help fundamentally restructure the economy. There might not be a need for radical macroeconomic changes, but China’s economic troubles will not go away unless the government boosts domestic consumption and reduces the reliance on exports.

📰 The many hurdles in proving citizenship

The brunt of the systemic problems of the National Register of Citizens is being borne by the poorest

•Apart from the floods in Assam, an annual event affecting thousands of families, another humanitarian crisis awaits the State this year. The date is already set for it. It is July 31.

•On that day, the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be released, the culmination of a fraught process conducted since 2015 at the urging of the Supreme Court, and monitored by it.

•While reports of the many anomalies that dog the process of determining citizenship, including the constantly changing list of documents that are (or are not) accepted, are known, the sheer enormity of the crisis facing the State is yet to register in the rest of India.

•Numbers alone do not indicate this. What is known today is that of the 32.9 million who have applied to be listed as “genuine” Indian citizens in the NRC, roughly 29 million have been accepted. The future of the four million excluded so far, a number that might reduce when the final list is published on July 31, provides the foundation for the impending human crisis awaiting Assam. Even if half of this number is excluded, we are looking at the future of two million stateless people.

•What will happen to me and my family after July 31? That is the question that haunts hundreds of men and women as they wait hours in inclement weather, clutching plastic bags full of documents, to meet anyone willing to answer this question. This was the scene that confronted us as we travelled to three districts in Assam at the end of June.

•The majority left out of the NRC so far are abjectly poor; many are unlettered. They cannot understand the legal complications of the process, nor do they have the money to hire legal help. As a result, thousands stand in danger of being declared “foreigners” even though they could be “genuine” Indian citizens.

Three categories

•The people affected by this process of verification of citizenship fall into three different categories. Those labelled as ‘D voters’, or doubtful voters, were categorised as such when the electoral rolls were revised in 1997 and thereafter. Their names are excluded from the NRC unless they can establish their credentials before a Foreigner’s Tribunal. There are currently just under 100 such tribunals in Assam. The opacity that surrounds the way decisions are made in these quasi-judicial courtrooms is a part of this larger crisis.

•In the second category are people who have been picked up by the police on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. The border police, present in every police station, picks up people, often poor workers in cities, fingerprints them, and then informs them in writing that they must appear before a Foreigner’s Tribunal.

•In the third category are those who have registered with the NRC, but have been excluded because there was a discrepancy in the documents they submitted. Two lists have been published so far: one with 4 million names last year and another with just over 0.1 million on June 26 this year. Their fate will be known on July 31.

•In addition, there are people who have already been declared “foreigners” by the tribunals. In February 2019, the government informed the Supreme Court that of the 938 people in six detention centres, 823 had been declared foreigners. How long will they be held? Can they be deported? To which country? These questions remain unanswered. In this haze of numbers and judicial processes, the real and tragic stories of individuals often go unheard.

Left out

•Take Anjali Das, 50, in Bijni, Chirang district. Dressed in a rust saree, Anjali cannot hide her anxiety. Her maternal home is in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, where her father and brother still live. Anjali came to Assam in 1982 when she married. She has no birth certificate, like many in India. She has a school certificate that confirms she was a student up to Class 5 and gives her date of birth as June 1, 1969. She also has a certificate from the Panchayat and her father’s Aadhaar card as proof that she is Indian. But this will not suffice. Anjali’s name has been excluded from the NRC, the only one in her marital home.

•Anjali is only one of thousands of married women who have been left out of the NRC for similar reasons. Although disaggregated data is not yet available, it is estimated that more than half of those excluded from the NRC are women like her.

•Then there are women who are struggling to understand why only some members of their families have been excluded. In Hanchara village in Morigaon district, Jamina Khatun pulls out a photocopy of the June 26 list of names excluded from the NRC. It has the names of her husband, her two sons, and her 11-year-old granddaughter. But not hers, or that of her daughter-in-law. Jamina’s son, Nur Jamal Ali, was referred to the Foreigner’s Tribunal based on a complaint by his landlord in Jorhat, where he worked as a construction labourer. As a result, Nur Jamal was fingerprinted by the border police, sent a notice to appear before a Foreigner’s Tribunal, and then declared a foreigner. His only daughter has also been excluded from the NRC.

•After July 31, the focus will shift to the Foreigner’s Tribunals. The State government plans to set up 200 by the end of this month and eventually 1,000, as all those excluded from the NRC will have to present themselves before these tribunals.

Expensive and time-consuming

•Only the litigants and their lawyers know what happens within the four walls of these tribunals as neither the public nor the media are permitted there. I tried to get a peek into one in Guwahati. Foreigner’s Tribunal Court Room 3, Kamrup Metro district, Guwahati, is located in a residential colony on the ground floor of a building. The small room is arranged like a courtroom. A white railing separates the podium on which the tribunal member sits from the litigants. The railing becomes a small witness stand at one end. The tribunal member has the help of an assistant who sits on the side. According to him, cases are heard simultaneously, stretching out to five days. But a lawyer tells a different story. The case he has come for began in March. It is still being heard in July.

•This then is the other problem. Poor people travel long distances to appear before these tribunals. Their cases stretch out over months. They have to spend on travel and lawyers’ fees, unaffordable for most. If they give up, or cannot afford to make the journey, their cases will be judged “ex parte”. In a statement in the Lok Sabha on July 2, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy, said that from 1985 to February 2019, 63,959 people had been declared foreigners in ex parte rulings.

•The citizenship issue in Assam is layered and complex. It is not easy for people outside the State to understand the multiple threads. What is clear though is that the brunt of the systemic problems of establishing citizenship in this manner, and in such haste, is being borne disproportionately by the poorest.

📰 Tapping the potential of communities to end AIDS

Success is achieved where policies and programmes focus on people, not diseases

•The UN Sustainable Development Goals include ensuring good health and well-being for all by 2030. This includes the commitment to end the AIDS epidemic. In many countries, continued access to HIV treatment and prevention options are reducing AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections. But there are still too many countries where AIDS-related deaths and new infections are not decreasing fast. In fact, they are rising in some cases, though we know how to stop the virus. Why are some countries doing much better than others?

The road to success

•Success is being achieved where policies and programmes focus on people, not diseases, and where communities are fully engaged from the outset in designing, shaping and implementing health policies. This is how real and lasting change is achieved and this is what will reduce the devastating impact of AIDS. Adopting the latest scientific research and medical knowledge, strong political leadership, and proactively fighting and reducing stigma and discrimination are all crucial. But without sustained investment in community responses led by people living with HIV and those most affected, countries will not gain the traction necessary to reach the most vulnerable. And only by doing that can we end the AIDS epidemic. Community services play varying roles depending on the context. They often support fragile public health systems by filling critical gaps. They come from — and connect effectively with — key populations such as gay men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and transgenders. They provide services that bolster clinic-based care and they extend the reach of health services to the community at large. They also hold decision-makers to account.

•By signing the 2016 UN Political Declaration on Ending AIDS, countries affirmed the critical role that communities play in advocacy, coordination of AIDS responses and service delivery. Moreover, they recognised that community responses to HIV must be scaled up. They committed to at least 30% of services being community-led by 2030. However, most countries are nowhere near reaching that commitment. And where investment in communities is most lacking, there is often weaker progress being made against HIV and other health threats.

Reliable partners

•All over the world, communities are demonstrating time and again that they can, and do, deliver results. Since the beginning of the epidemic in India until now, communities have been the most trusted and reliable partners for the National AIDS Control Organization and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. They are fully engaged in many aspects of the National AIDS Response, including prevention, care, support and treatment programmes. There are over 1,500 community-based organisations reaching out to key populations. In India, there are around 300 district-level networks of people living with HIV which are supporting treatment programmes through psychosocial support, treatment literacy and adherence counselling.

•Our communities present us with a lot of untapped potential. Unleashing this is the key to gaining the momentum we need to make faster progress towards reaching UNAIDS Fast-Track targets. The more we invest in communities, the closer we get to ending the AIDS epidemic.

📰 ACentre, Assam move SC for sample re-verification of NRC

Seek 20% recount in border districts, extension of July 31 deadline for final list

•The Centre and the State of Assam on Tuesday made an urgent mention before the Chief Justice of India for an extension of the deadline for the final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) from July 31, 2019, to a “future date”.

•In identical but separate applications, they urged the Supreme Court for more time to conduct a “sample re-verification process” of the names included in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.

•They said a 20% sample re-verification of the names should be conducted in districts bordering Bangladesh and a 10% sample re-verification in the remaining districts.

•The Assam government, represented by advocate Shuvodeep Roy, said the 20% sample re-verification should target border districts where illegal migration from Bangladesh was higher and where population growth had been reported higher than the State’s average, as per census reports.

•Both the Centre and the State said the re-verification exercise should be conducted by Class 1 officers of the State government from other districts who have knowledge and experience of handling the process of enquiry/investigation. The applications further sought an order that the sample re-verification should be undertaken at a place different from where the NRC exercise happened. The Assam government agreed that this would cut out the possibility of local influences, bias/threat, etc.

•“But why should we grant an extension?” asked the CJI even as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pressed for an early hearing.

•“We will have it on August 1 then,” the CJI said. To this, Mr. Mehta said the last date of publication of NRC was July 31. “We will see,” the CJI finally said.

•The applications may be listed soon for hearing before a Special Bench of the CJI and Justice Rohinton Nariman. The applications have been filed despite repeated orders and oral observations from the court in the past to finish the NRC process on July 31, 2019.

Unprecedented scale

•The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in its application, tried to impress upon the court the “unprecedented large scale of complexities” involved in the NRC process.

•The Ministry informed the court that the NRC exercise had created apprehensions in the minds of the citizens and could very well impact social harmony, and law and order in the State. Tensions could rise with just a few days left for the culmination of the ongoing process of NRC “It is pertinent that the exercise of sample re-verification must necessarily follow before the publication of the final list,” the application said.

•The draft NRC list, published on July 30, 2018, had included 2,89,83,677 persons as Indian citizens but found 40,70,707 persons ineligible. , having been found ineligible to be considered for inclusion. The Centre said re-verification should be done for both inclusions and exclusions.

•In its separate application to the court, Assam said that an “additional exclusion list” was issued on June 26, 2019. This list contained 1,02,463 names which had been earlier included in the draft NRC list.

📰 Rethinking KUSUM

If designed better and implemented effectively, thescheme could radically transform the irrigation economy

•Earlier this year, the Cabinet approved the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM). With a Budget allocation of Rs. 34,000 crore, and a similar contribution expected from the States, KUSUM aims to provide energy sufficiency and sustainable irrigation access to farmers. At present, despite burgeoning farm power subsidies, nearly 30 million farmers, especially marginal landholders, use expensive diesel for their irrigation needs as they have no access to electricity. More than half of India’s net sown-area remains unirrigated. KUSUM could radically transform the irrigation economy if the government chooses an approach of equity by design and prudence over populism.

Equity by design

•First, KUSUM should aim to reduce the existing disparity among States with regard to solar pumps deployment and irrigation access. Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan together account for about half of the two lakh solar pumps currently deployed in the country. This is surprising given the low irrigation demand in the former and poor groundwater situation in the latter. On the other hand, States such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, where penetration of diesel pumps is among the highest, have not managed to deploy any significant number of solar pumps. This disparity highlights poor State budget allocation towards solar pumps and the lack of initiative by State nodal agencies. To encourage more equitable deployment of 17.5 lakh off-grid pumps by 2022, the Centre should incentivise States through target-linked financial assistance, and create avenues for peer learning.

•Second, KUSUM must also address inequity within a State. For instance, 90% of Bihar’s farmers are small and marginal. Yet, they have received only 50% of government subsidies on solar pumps. On the other hand, in Chhattisgarh, about 95% of beneficiaries are from socially disadvantaged groups due to the mandate of the State. Learning from these contrasting examples, a share of central financial assistance under KUSUM should be appropriated for farmers with small landholdings and belonging to socially disadvantaged groups.

•Third, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, KUSUM should provide greater financial assistance to smaller farmers. KUSUM proposes a 60% subsidy for the pumps, borne equally by the Centre and the States, and the remaining 40% will be the farmer’s contribution — 10% as down payment and 30% through loans. This unilateral financing approach will exacerbate the inter-farmer disparity given the inequity in access to credit and repayment capacity between small and large farmers. A higher capital subsidy support to small and marginal farmers and long-term loans with interest subsidies for large and medium farmers would be a more economical and equitable alternative.

Prudence over populism

•Fourth, solarising existing grid-connected pumps, as proposed under the scheme, needs a complete rethink. Existing grid-connected farmers, who have enjoyed power subsidies for decades, would receive the same financial support as that received by an off-grid farmer. In addition, they would earn regular income from the DISCOM on feeding surplus electricity, furthering the inequitable distribution of taxpayers’ resources. Instead, the scheme should only provide Central government subsidy of up to 30% for solarisation, and use the proposed State support to incentivise DISCOMs to procure energy from the farmers.

•Also, solarising grid-connected pumps must include replacement of the pump. Poor efficiency levels of the existing pumps would mean unnecessary oversizing of the solar panels and lesser available energy to feed into the grid. Moreover, instead of feeding surplus energy to the grid, solar pump capacity could be used to power post-harvesting processes, which complement the seasonal irrigation load and can enhance farm incomes through local value addition. Further, the injection of solar power by farmers would require the entire agriculture electricity line (feeder) to be energised throughout the daytime, including for those not having solarised pumps. This would aggravate DISCOMs’ losses on such feeders. Instead, an effective alternative is to solarise the entire feeder through a reverse-bidding approach, and provide water-conservation-linked incentives to farmers as direct benefit transfer.

•KUSUM should not woo a certain section of farmers with short-sighted objectives. If designed better and implemented effectively, it holds the potential to catapult the Indian irrigation economy from an era mired in perpetual subsidy, unreliable supply, and inequitable distribution of resources to a regime of affordable, reliable, and equitable access to energy and water.

📰 Rajya Sabha nod for changes to airports regulator Bill

Amendment restricts AAI from fixing tariffs for private airports

•The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill to amend the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008, whereby the Airports Authority would not determine tariff structures in the case of privatised airports as that was part of the bid offered at the time of the privatisation.

•In all, 16 airports would come under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA), while the others would continue to be under the Civil Aviation Ministry.

•After introducing the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in 2006 the total number of passengers at Indian airports was about 1.5 million per annum. Therefore, a regulatory mechanism was needed for fixing tariffs. In 2009, only two major airports had traffic of 1.5 million passengers per annum. In 2011, the number went up to 16 and in 2016, there were 24 such airports.

•“Today, the passenger throughput at the Airport Authority of India airports is in the vicinity of 344.69 million. So, the limited purpose of this amendment is to substitute the figure 1.5 million, which defined a major airport, which reflected 1.3% of passenger traffic at that point of time, with the figure 3.5 million which accurately reflects the state of traffic today,” he said.

•The Bill was first approved in December 2017, but could not be passed.

📰 Sewer deaths: Centre calls for quick response units

Stress on trained cleaners, protective gear

•Concerned by the incidents of workers dying while cleaning sewers and septic tanks, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has asked all States and Union Territories to set up emergency response sanitation units (ERSU), which would include trained cleaners wearing protective gear.

•In letters to all Chief Secretaries on July 12, Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra wrote: “The Government of India is seized of press reports regarding number of fatalities attributed to entry into sewers and septic tanks (both public and private) of personnel employed for their cleaning or removal of chokes.”

•While manual scavenging is officially banned, under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, incidents of private individuals, local bodies and contractors forcing people to enter sewers and tanks to clear blockages continue to be reported. The official said the workers had not been given protective gear, training or backup support by their employers.

•He said while mechanical cleaning should be promoted, there were some instances when human entry into sewers and tanks could not be avoided.

•“Therefore, to implement the provisions of PEMSRA Act, 2013 regarding hazardous cleaning of sewers/septic tanks, it is advised that States/Uts/ULBs [urban local bodies] should set up an ERSU, on the lines of the fire service station, in capital cities of each State/UT and in all major cities having a municipal corporation and/or water and sewerage board with population of more than one lakh,” the letter said.

•The district Magistrate or municipal commissioner would be designated as the Responsible Sanitation Authority, which would organise the staff for the ERSU, the letter said. He added that those trained, equipped and certified as sewer entry professionals would be the only ones allowed to enter sewers and septic tanks.

📰 The wheels to a low-carbon transport system

It rests on accessing public service, choosing rapid transit over car driving and supporting electric vehicle transition

•Congested streets and polluted air are common experiences in India’s metropolises, although the average Indian contributes only minuscule amounts of transport-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to global climate change. Patterns of road transport, however, diverge wildly between cities and districts. Delhi tops the charts and emissions are more than twice as high as other Indian megacities, such as Mumbai, Bengaluru or Ahmedabad.

•Studies show that India’s road transport emissions are small in global comparison but increasing exponentially. In fact, the Global Carbon Project reports that India’s carbon emissions are rising more than two times as fast as the global rise in 2018. Globally, the transport sector accounts for a quarter of total emissions, out of which three quarters are from road transport. Reducing CO2 emissions of road transport leverages multiple co-benefits, for example, improving air quality and increasing physical activity, which are critical for well-being, particularly in urban areas.

•Climate action also requires an understanding of how emissions vary with spatial context. In India, we find in our new study (published in Environmental Research Letters), that income and urbanisation are the key determinants of travel distance and travel mode choice and, therefore, commuting emissions. The way cities are built and the design of public transit are critical for low-carbon mobility systems. The study is based on the most recent results of the Indian Census in 2011.

•Average commuting emissions in high-emitting districts (Delhi) are 16 times higher than low-emitting districts (most districts in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh). Average per capita commuting emissions are highest for the most affluent districts, which are predominantly urban, and that heavily use four-wheelers for commuting. This is a surprising result, as in other parts of the world such as the United States, commuting emissions are low in urban areas but high in suburban or ex-urban settings. In contrast, average per capita commuting emissions are lowest for Indian districts that are poor, and commuting distances are short and rarely use three-wheelers.

Focus on well-being

•Two policy implications follow. First, mayors and town planners should organise cities around public transport and cycling, thereby improving mobility for many, while limiting car use. Uptake of non-motorised transport emerges as a sweet spot of sustainable development, resulting in both lower emissions and better public health in cities. According to the recent National Family Health Survey (2015-16), nearly 30% of all men are overweight or obese in southwest Delhi, but only 25% in Thiruvananthapuram and 13% in Allahabad. These data correlate with high reliance of car use in Delhi and low demand for walking.

•Another of our studies that investigates data from the India Human Development Survey shows that a 10% increase in cycling could lower chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases for 0.3 million people, while also abating emissions. Car use, in contrast, correlates with higher rates of diabetes. Therefore, fuel price increases, congestion charges or parking management could be a strategy that improves the well-being of individuals living in urban areas. In contrast, fuel price increases would be detrimental in poorer rural areas, impairing mobility where there is a lack of alternatives.

Technology transition

•Second, India should double down in its strategy to transition to electric two and three-wheelers. India is the third-largest market for automobiles; about 25 million internal combustion engines were sold in 2017, including about 20 million two-wheelers. A recent study reports that India has 1.5 million battery-powered three-wheeler rickshaw (over 300,000 e-rickshaws sold in 2018). In the coming years, experts judge that the electric three-wheeler market is expected to grow by at least 10% per year. In 2019, nearly 110,000 electric two-wheelers were also sold, and the annual growth rate may be above 40% per year.

•The current statistics even suggest that electric three-wheelers and electric two-wheelers, rather than electric cars, will drive the electric vehicle market in India. Electric car sales are minuscule and even falling (dropping from 2,000 in 2017 to 1,200 in 2018). Consumers realise the practical advantages of lighter in weight two- and three-wheelers that require much smaller and less powerful batteries and are easily plugged in at home.

•India is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers in two- and three- wheelers and Indian companies can take a leading role in switching to electric vehicles. This will also help in transforming India’s vision of ‘Make in India’.

•Compact cities improve accessibility and reduce emissions from transport and even the building sector. Most Indian cities are already very dense, with few benefits expected by further high-rise. City managers should ensure that existing urban areas provide short routes and fast access to schools, hospitals and jobs, otherwise, residents would be required to travel long distances. To achieve this aim, mayors and decision-makers need to rethink how to deliver basic services such as education and health. Building schools and hospitals matters especially for informal settlements and are critical in achieving low carbon development as well as improving the quality of life.

•Providing access to public service, choosing rapid transit over car driving in cities and supporting the rise of electric two and three-wheelers will help drive India to a modern and low-carbon transport system fit for the 21st century.

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