Monday, December 17, 2007

batti bandh

MumbaiUnplug called for a Batti Bandh on 15th December, from 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Here is what "Batti Bandh" is (from the MumbaiUnplug website) ...
Batti Bandh is an entirely voluntary event taking place on the 15th of December between 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. This event is aimed at requesting all of Mumbai to stand up for a cause that is greater than all of us. All you need to do is switch off lights and appliances in your home, shop, office, school, college or anywhere you are for 1 hour to take a stand against global warming. Just 1 hour.

What will this 1 hour do? This 1 hour for just 1 day is not our only aim. This 1 hour is to set an example to the world, to every person who witnesses it, to show that together we can make a difference. This 1 hour will save a lot of electricity as well as pollution and if done regularly can go a long way in reducing pollution that is released by electricity plants as well.

We were inspired by a similar event recently held in Sydney, Australia, called Earth Hour. In Sydney, 2.2 million people participated. Their one hour of lights out meant that 24.86 tons of carbon dioxide were not released into the air - the equivalent of taking 48,613 cars off the road. We are a city of more than 20 million people. Let this number be motivation enough to show that we can make a difference. Unplug Mumbai. Do this for every child who otherwise will never have the opportunity to witness snow capped Himalayas or the glorious tigers and lions or the sun kissed beaches of Goa. Because if we dont unplug from our ways now, nothing will remain the same. Batti Bandh.

While newspapers are reporting that the event got a lukewarm/mixed response, hopefully it will act as starting point for larger initiatives, particularly when Mumbai is spared from scheduled/unscheduled power-cuts at the expense of other cities/villages.

On a related note, R K Pachauri, the chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on the 1-lakh car,
More private vehicles, ... , is not the right way forward. On the contrary, it would take the world farther from solutions to climate change.


Maruthi Ramesh Nallapati said...


good to see a new posting after a long time.

it's nice to read about the "batti-bandh" concept. It's a novel way to prompte global awareness on environment.

However, i am not so sure i would blame Tata for making the 1-lakh car and the middle class people for buying it. One can't blame the people to look for a little comfort in the lives. It has become next to impossible for most people to travel in the crammed, overloaded public transportation systems in cities like mumbai and hyderabad (both of which i have lived in). It's upto the government to ensure better local transport infrastructure and stricter rules on emissions and public parking. I am sure people will comply if they have better alternatives, an example being the subway in NYC.

Puru said...

hey ramesh,
there is no question of "blaming" anyone.
the corporates are out there to make money and we as society are being sold ideas of "comfort and luxury". irrespective of whatever it is, climate change is happening and will happen! so we have to decide how to deal with it, and maybe we are already too late.

i don't think R K Pachauri was blaming Tata, but asking for whatever it takes (public/private-sector) to improve public transport and only being sensitive to the issue one can demand it.

the debate on climate change in India in the mainstream/political discourse is scarely close to zero.

Maruthi Ramesh Nallapati said...

yes, i agree.

Shiva said...


good post, well today they officially launched the nano, well as efficient car its good. But the thought of millions driving it scares me.

I guess if the government allowed the private sector to invest public transportation (atleast the lucrative sections like city subways, and the government can take care of other important ones) will alleviate the situation a bit. Just a thought, am not sure how good it is.

shiva said...

Also society should redefine concepts of need and standard of living. Going by western standards is flawed which are themselves flawed.