Marie’s cake?

Meanwhile, while I am still on the Nano issue, let me raise the points put up by environmentalist opposing the small car. While the likes of Dr. RK Pachauri have argued that a petrol low-cost car will add to the carbon emmissions of India by the burning of fossil fuel. Many else have taken a holistic perspective of the issue so as to say; arguing that the urban infrastucture could crumble under the weight of Nano.

CSE, not surprisingly, has chosen to oppose the Nano. And thus in the past quite a few months, there newsletter have become pamphlets against the small car, highlighting how and why the car is not meant for us or rather should not be meant for us.

The last piece that I received from CSE ( spoke about how individual cars are bad for the environment and why all Indians must chose public transport over private one. The argument to be fair is a very valid one and I for one completely agree with it.

But then, the devil as they say are in the details. Is there really a public infrastructure in India? Even in the metros of India, the public transport, is still shady, tacky and unreliable. Honestly, the only reason that I travel hanging out in an over-crowded Mumbai local is because I don’t have my own vehicle.

In light of this the appeal made by CSE, and more precisely by Sunita Narain (she heads the organization), I am very curious to know how many of these experts and environmentalist really practice what they preach? For instance, of all the people that have been opposing the car as a fossil fuel guzzler, how many of them have actually given up their own and started traveling on public transport. Continue reading

The Nanolution

So, a promise has been fulfilled by good ol’ Ratan Tata. The one that he had made totata_nano_14 the world and more importantly to the Indians some 6 years back, of a car that will cost some $2000. Nano is now ready to ferry 5 Indians safely 23.6 kms for every litre of petrol and will apparently hit the roads by June/July 2009, initially in limited numbers. Subsequently, the price might also be revised later (though, there is little scope for it after all the USP of the vehicle is its price).

There are a  lot of hopes pinned on Nano, not only from the automotive sector but from the economy from a whole. Many analysts are hoping and at times proclaiming that Nano could provide the kick-start the economy so badly needs. While on the other hand there are scores and scores of environmentalists, who are bemoaning the launch of Nano, terming it to be an eco-disaster for India in terms of emissions and infrastructure.

I for one am reminded of the mobile revolution that took shape in India over the past decade. Let me share with you a personal anecdote. Continue reading