Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) organized three workshops on “Sustainable Mini-Grid for Energy Access” in Pune, Patna and Delhi during the quarter. The workshops were attended by stakeholders and experts to deliberate on how to develop sustainable mini-grids to provide energy access to millions in India. Energy access in rural India has been a development priority for the government for many decades. But 45 percent of rural households still lack access to electricity, even though power generation in the country has grown at a rate of 7 percent between 2002 and 2013. It also proposed a model to ensure at least 12 hours of electricity to every household.
CSE also organized a round table workshop on ‘Our Safe Right of Way: Addressing Safety and Accessibility in Indian cities’ on June 23, 2014 in New Delhi. The workshop discussed how safe our cities can be built around walking and cycling to combat pollution, and congestion. Several issues were discussed according to the expertise: some shared the impediments faced while having safe access to walking and cycling, few had ideas on designing and planning infrastructure, while some of them shared their personal experiences and all put forth their opinions. The forum supported that this sustainable mode of transport must be recognized as a key mode of transport in our cities and the users be given their right of safe commuting on all roads. Participants included government regulators, policy makers, civil society representatives, and print and electronic media representatives attended the workshop.
As part of CSE’s ongoing campaign on sustainable air quality and mobility, CSE analysed ozone data from the automatic monitoring stations of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for the period January to early June 2014 that showed rapid build-up of ozone and more frequent violation of standards during the period. CSE alerted that the government needs to act immediately to protect public health. Explosive increase in vehicle numbers, especially diesel vehicles that spew much higher levels of NOx and volatile organic compounds, can only worsen the deadly recipe needed for formation of ozone in the city with hot and extreme climate.