Protestors urge Indian Government to switch to renewables

Climate campaigners in India staged a protest outside the Legislative Assembly, urging the Government to move from coal-based power to renewable energy sources. The protest, which took place in the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Climate campaigners in India staged a protest outside the Legislative Assembly, urging the Government to move from coal-based power to renewable energy sources.

The protest, which took place in the state of Delhi during the nation’s on-going budget session yesterday, questioned Chief Minister (CM) Sheila Dixit’s power strategy in the country. The placard read ‘ab ki bar bijli lagathar’, which translates to ‘uninterrupted power from now on’ and Greenpeace India said the “peaceful” protest was held to remind the Government about the capital city’s electricity crisis.

The environmental group claims many parts of the capital are already witnessing long unscheduled power cuts and the shortage of electricity could be blamed on the state’s “over dependence” on coal.

Abhishek Pratap, Senior Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India said: “The Delhi Government and in particular the CM who is standing for election later this year, to seek an unprecedented fourth term, should understand that the solution to the power crisis in Delhi does not lie in being over dependent on technologies based on coal which is becoming expensive but increasing investment in renewable energy like solar and biomass to create a sustainable future and long-lasting energy infrastructure for the state.”

More than 75% of Delhi’s electricity comes from coal-based power plants. Greenpeace India claims the massive grid failure and blackout in July last year proved energy from fossil fuels is not reliable and the shortage in Delhi was due to the lack of coal supply to five major power plants. The state, however, does not have any policy for ‘green’ energy sources.