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May 2009

Delhi's Nullahs: Way to go for India
31 May 09 | The Times of India | By Manit Rastogi
Abstract: Delhi needs change. As inhabitants, we demand it. We need to claim our city back and be stakeholders. We live in one of the largest metropolises in the world today but probably have the most limited sphere of engagement with our city compared to anywhere else. Read More

WB’s $5-bn Loan May Be Pumped into JNNURM
30 May 09 Indian Express
Abstract:
The urban development ministry is in advanced stages of tying up a $5-billion loan from World Bank to give a thrust to urban infrastructure, urban development minister Jaipal Reddy announced on day one of his second innings in the ministry. Read more

We Need a Unified Energy Ministry
30 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: Four cabinet ministers and at least two junior ministers have been given the task of managing India's energy economy. Do we take our energy requirements so seriously that we have so many ministers and ministries to meet the demand? Read More

Can't Club Them Together
30 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: For the first time ever in the history of the Union ministry of new and renewable resources, a high profile, senior political leader, Farooq Abdullah, has been appointed as its head. Read More

Indo-Pak Water Meet on Monday
30 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: In the first Indo-Pak interaction after Mumbai terror attacks, the Indus Water Commission will meet in New Delhi on Monday to discuss water-sharing issues amid Islamabad's demand for compensation for alleged choking of water supply of Chenab river by New Delhi. Read More

Global Power Demand Dips for First Time Since World War 2
30 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: Lesser carbon was emitted in 2008-09 thanks to the world’s electricity demand falling by 2.5 per cent, for the first time since World War 2, said Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Nobuo Tanaka on Thursday at Bergen, 420 km north of Oslo, the capital of Norway. Read More

Climate Change Toll is Crucial Evidence
29 May 09 I The Guardian
Abstract: With the deadly effect of global warming quantified, international law can be invoked and the perpetrators punished. Read More

This Silent Suffering
29 May 09 I The Guardian | By R.K. Pachauri
Abstract: Few doubt the science of climate change – but its impact on the world's poor is largely ignored. Read More

Climate Change Causes 315,000 Deaths a Year
29 May 09 I The Economic Times
Abstract: Climate change kills about 315,000 people a year through hunger, sickness and weather disasters, and the annual death toll is expected to rise to half a million by 2030, a report said on Friday. Read More

India, China Need To Develop Clean Energy Solutions: Obama
29 May 09 | DNA
Abstract: Reiterating the need to reduce dependence on oil as opposed to other sources of energy like wind and solar, the US president Barack Obama has said that India and China, countries having huge population, need to rapidly develop clean energy solutions. Read More

Renewable Energy Portfolio Bigger Than Me: Farooq Abdullah
29 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday said his portfolio had a larger profile than his own and promised to create awareness about the potential that India held in the use of clean energy sources. Read More

Canada Says Nuclear Deal with India Soon
28 May 09 | NDTV.com
Abstract: Canada on Wednesday said that the on-going talks with India on resumption of nuclear ties may soon end in a nucelar deal with New Delhi. Read More

Bangalore Pips Mumbai, New Delhi in Living Quality: Mercer
28 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: Bangalore has emerged as the best Indian city among New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in terms of better quality of living for expatriates, according to a latest worldwide survey of cities by global HR consultancy Mercer. Read More

Boris's Cycling Revolution
27 May 09 | The Guardian | By Dave Hill
Abstract:
Boris Johnson's 'near-death experience' on his bike has focused the debate about risk and freedom on London's roads. Read more

Supertower Offers Glimmer of Hope in Polluted Chinese City
27 May 09 | The Guardian | By Jonathan Watts
Abstract:
Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou is being billed as a green beacon amid the pollution of China's construction boom. Read more

Affordable Housing: The Buzz Word in Realty
27 May 09 | The Economic Times
Abstract: The new wave of launches in the affordable housing segment is attracting the attention of private equity (PE) players, which had for more than a year shunned the real estate sector struggling with diminishing sales, tight credit and clouded economic forecasts. Read More

Solar City: UT Ready with Draft Master Plan
27 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: The draft master plan for making Chandigarh a solar city would be put up for approval by the administration next week before it is sent to the ministry of renewable resources for seeking funds. Read More

Climate Change on Priority List, Civic Body Plans Fund
27 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: Soon, a special fund would be introduced by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to mitigate effects of climate change. The civic body would take up this matter with Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Read More

Renewables Fastest Growing Share of Energy Mix-EIA
27 May 09 | Reuters India
Abstract: Renewable energy will be the world's fastest growing source of electricity generation over the next two decades, although it will still make up a relatively small portion of the global energy supply, the U.S. government's top energy forecasting agency said Wednesday. Read More

India Seeks Uranium Supply from Australia
26 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: Praising Australia's role in ending India's nuclear isolation, India hopes that Canberra would reverse its policy of not selling uranium to New Delhi, saying it would help the country move to cleaner energy sources. Read More

Concentrated Solar Power Could Generate 'Quarter of World's Energy'
26 May 09 | The Guardian
Abstract: Solar power stations that concentrate sunlight could generate up to one-quarter of the world's electricity needs by 2050, according to a study by environmental and solar industry groups. The technology, best suited to the desert regions of the world, could also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and save millions of tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Read More

State Plans to Clip People's Power
26 May 09 | DNA
Abstract: The state government is set to introduce the Nagar Raj Bill, which aims to decentralise power in Maharashtra's cities, much like the Panchayati Raj Act did in rural India. The government hopes to table the bill during the monsoon session of the legislature, scheduled to begin on June 1. Read More

Urban Development Policy on Cards
26 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: Urban development minister Suresh Kumar on Tuesday said the final draft of the Urban Development Policy, that has been formulated keeping in mind the overall development of towns and cities, will be ready by July. Read More

Slumdog Entrepreneurs
26 May 09 | The New York Times
Abstract: Over the last five years, Mumbai has been blessed with two significant depictions. In 2004, Suketu Mehta wrote “Maximum City,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is one of the best books about a great city in recent years. In 2008, “Slumdog Millionaire,” a romantic tale of urban poverty and quiz show success, sold millions of tickets and won a bucketful of Oscars. Both capture the energy and diversity of Mumbai, but neither adequately captures the economic energy that makes the city so exciting. Read More

Why Some Cities Are Getting Younger And Some Are Not
25 May 09 | Mint
Abstract:
One factor that influences the number of young people in a city is its attractiveness for migrants and then there are educational considerations. Read more

AMC Making Effort to Conserve Energy
25 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: One of the main clinchers for Ahmedabad being rated as the numero uno city to have implemented environment-friendly measures in its operations was cutting down on energy consumption. Despite being a city with one of the highest electricity consumption and in the absence of an energy policy, AMC has performed an energy audit, have started using energy efficient street lights, installed energy efficient pumps in sewerage and water distribution stations. This has been stated in the ICLEI study for United Nations Environment programme (UNEP). Read More

City Tops UN’s ‘Green List’
25 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: In 2003, Central Pollution Control Board gave Ahmedabad the ignominious tag of being the most polluted city in the country, with dangerous levels of lead and sulphur found in the air. Six years on, the city has turned around full circle. Ahmedabad, today, leads 15 other cities in the country, including Delhi, in promoting the theme of ‘Green Cities -Plan for the Planet’, initiated by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Read More

City Lights: Rs. 25,000 cr Bonanza from World Bank
24 May 09 | The Economic Times
Abstract: Indian cities are in for a Rs 25,000-crore bonanza from the World Bank to develop urban infrastructure over the next five years, according to an urban development ministry official. Read More

Gaping Holes Found in JNNURM project
22 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: In an oblique testimony to the poor quality of work going on under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a high level team of the local bodies department has asked contractors who built the multi-storey flats to demolish the poor quality walls and erect them again in presence of Municipal Corporation (MC) officers. Read More

New Govt Gets First Task: Job Scheme for Urban Poor
21 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: Thousands of poor people living in urban India might soon find jobs if the new government acts on the suggestions from some members of the Planning Commission. Read More

Google Rolls Out Home Energy Software
20 May 09 | The New York Times
Abstract: Google’s initiative to allow people to monitor their energy use on their computers took a step forward on Wednesday, as the company announced partnerships with eight electric utilities that will be the first to use its “Power Meter.” Read More

ONGC, GAIL to Pay ‘Around 9.4 Billion Rupees’ Subsidy
20 May 09 | Bloomberg.com
Abstract: Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s biggest energy exploration company, and GAIL India Ltd. will pay “around 9.4 billion rupees” ($197 million) in additional subsidies to state refiners for sales of fuels below cost. Read More

Why Has Globalization Led to Bigger Cities?
19 May 09 | The New York Times | By  Edward L. Glaeser
Abstract: If the world is so flat, then why are cities growing so quickly, especially in the third world? One might have thought that striking declines in the costs of shipping goods and communicating knowledge across space would have led to a great dispersal of population. After all, it is at least technically possible to telecommute over great distances. Yet the share of the world living in urbanized areas increased from 40.9 percent in 1985 to more than 50 percent today. Read More

States to Ease Norms, Woo Builders to House Urban Poor
19 May 09 | Mint
Abstract: A ballooning population, coupled with looming government deadlines, has pushed authorities to consider this option. Read More

Democrats Reject Pollution Parity With China, India
19 May 09 | Bloomberg.com
Abstract: Democrats debating climate-change legislation in the House Energy and Commerce Committee rejected Republican attempt to delay a cap on U.S. pollution levels until China and India adopt similar standards. The committee also voted against an “emergency exit” amendment that would have lifted pollution caps if electricity rates rose more than 10 percent. Read More

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in India Nuclear Deal
19 May 09 | Fobers.com
Abstract: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy said on Tuesday it has signed a nuclear power plant development agreement with Indian engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd. Read More

World Bank Support for India’s Climate Change Stance
15 May 09 | Mint
Abstract: For the first time, a multilateral agency has endorsed India’s stance on climate change: that it cannot undertake deep emission cuts without sacrificing poverty alleviation plans and development needs. Read More

Urban Visions
15 May 09 | The Times of India
Abstract: The tiny community of Vauban, Germany, made news this week when it was reported that 70 per cent of the families in the affluent suburb own no cars. This isn't by diktat. Car ownership is allowed, but parking spaces are limited. Cars are forbidden on most of Vauban's streets, and houses cannot have driveways or garages. While not quite car-free not yet, anyway the community is a highly car-reduced area. The residents of Vauban are being hailed as land-use pioneers of a trend to separate suburban life from automobile use, helped by what's being called 'smart planning'. But can this experiment be replicated elsewhere? Read More

Growth of Renewables Transforms Global Energy Picture
13 May 09 | Reuters
Abstract: In 2008 for the first time, more renewable energy than conventional power capacity was added in both the European Union and United States, showing a "fundamental transition" of the world's energy markets towards renewable energy, finds a report released today by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network based in Paris. Read More

Megacities Threaten to Choke India
13 May 09 | Wall Street Journal
Abstract: Voting is drawing to a close Wednesday in India's largest election ever, and a slowing economy, terrorism and the rural poor have been front and centre in the campaign. But of growing concern are the country's teeming new megacities, which are swelling rapidly even as jobs dry up and funding for infrastructure disappears. Read More

Trade in Renewable Energy Soon
12 May 09 | DNA
Abstract: The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is planning to introduce a scheme that will enable states to buy renewable energy produced and fed into the grid by other states, a top official said. Such non-physical trade of renewable energy will help states meet their obligations of consuming a certain amount of energy generated through renewable sources and allow vending states to recover the high cost of generating renewable energy, CERC chairman Pramod Deo said. Read More

New Deal for Urban Transport
12 May 09 | The Hindu
Abstract: One of India’s failings is the absence of reliable, modern and efficient urban public transportation systems. Given the pace of urbanisation, the government that will assume office soon at the Centre will have to give top priority to improving urban transport systems, and to create new infrastructure in a large number of urban centres. Read More

Indian Property Struggles As Funds Stay Away
11 May 09 | Businessworld
Abstract: India's troubled property developers are seeing early signs of a rebound, but high debt costs and a lack of private equity funding suggest a sustained recovery is unlikely for some time. Read More

Panel to Restore Lost Glory of Shahjahanabad Heritage Area
10 May 09 | Hindustan Times
Abstract: The Delhi government will seek funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for the development and maintenance of Shahjahanabad to restore the heritage area to its lost glory. Read More

 

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