There is also the cost the government incurs to generate energy. It is way beyond what we pay. In Pondicherry, people pay a paltry Re.1.50 per unit consumed while it costs about Rs.18 per unit for the government to produce/procure the power. Who bears the deficit? In Bangalore we pay Rs.4 per unit on an average. In Gujarat, Kerala and AP, people pay a little over Rs.8 a unit used. In Tamil Nadu the tariff for homes is about Rs.5. These deficits in cost recovered will guarantee that this route of power generation and distribution with massive subsidies will not sustain for too many years.
The solution is not generation, as much as energy efficiency: how do we change the way we do things to save energy. Every one unit that you save at home results in saving of 10 units of generation. And that’s a lot of money saved on the exchequer, for every MW we have to produce as a country costs about USD 2 billion, or Rs 10,000 crore – it’s a senseless number that only leaves the residual image of how many minions in the bureaucracy and starchy businessmen line their pockets with the monies that flow.
When you talk of water, again you can see that it is not about water cost as much as it is about water management. Installing a simple set of aerators or flow restrictors at every tap and shower head in your house will save up to 35,000 liters every year. If there are 500,000 houses, just this set of aerators at Rs.2000 a house can save the city up to 35-40 million liters every day—that’s against the city’s total demand of 800 million liters a day.
If you’ve decided to treat all the waste water that your kitchen and toilet put out, and if you use this recycled water to meet your flush tank needs, or of your gardens, you will have dropped demand for water in your house by 60 per cent. That amounts to about 400 liters a day to a family of four. For 500,000 houses, this means 200 million liters a day! This is one-quarter of today’s daily demand in the city.
1. Part I
2. Part II