Letters to the editor dated October 13, 2021

| Updated on October 15, 2021

Long-term plan needed

The current power crisis is a reminder of the high fossil fuel dependence and the need for a long-term policy to cope up with this crisis, which is likely to occur again, despite India being second only to China in coal production.

The crisis is also said to be partly because of the global race to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

The race to become green has resulted many countries shutting down coal mines and oil rigs.

Yash Pal Ralhan


New approach to economics

A welcome approach to economics is seen in this year’s Nobel citations. Pursuit of individual happiness is the luxury of the privileged.

However, the true goal must lie in reducing unnecessary collective pain to create a safer and happier society.

It is heartening to see economists tending towards inclusiveness and social equity.

The traditional measurement of wealth as GDP was increasingly misleading, which skews distribution of wealth and accentuates income disparity.

We have come a long way from creation of wealth to its distribution, which is stymied by the persistence of poverty.

Earlier Nobel winner, Angus Deaton using statistics, delved into the cause and spread of poverty.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo later looked into the real needs of the poor.

This year Card and Imbens have moved closer to a truer premise.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

No time for finger-pointing

With reference to the report ‘Centre accuses States of profiteering from power’ (October 13), this is a situation when the governments (both the Centre and States) must put their differences aside and stand together.

The technological specifications of plants sometimes make it impossible to switch over from imported coal to domestic coal. The steam generator (SG) used in Ultra Mega Power Plants are designed for firing 100 per cent imported coal using Super Critical Technology.

The SG could be radiant, single reheat, balanced draft and semi outdoor type. The imported coal normally has ash content in the range of 10-15 per cent and Gross Calorific Value (GCV) in the range of 5400 kcal/kg to 7000 kcal/kg.

Average GCV of coal would be about 5750 kcal/kg. Domestically produced coal has much higher ash content (25-45 per cent), producing less GCV.

Coal production has been stagnant since 2015-16 and also Coal India was head-less for quite a long time. These have contributed much to the current crisis. But what we urgently need is railway infrastructure to link coal reserves to the rest of the country.

PD Sankaranarayanan

Kumaramputhur PO (Kerala)

Vaccines for the young

This refers to the news report, ‘Covxin gets emergency use approval in the 2-18 age group’ (October 13). India’s approval on Tuesday doesn’t come a moment too soon as vaccinating young people will provide a further boost to the resumption of physical schooling. An extrapolation of government data shows that at least 50 million school children do not have access to a device, which means their education is likely to have suffered over the past year-and-a-half. Experts believe the actual number may be higher. It will also help in the resumption of normal academic calendar – in terms of high-school and school-leaving examinations, and college admissions.

Meanwhile, with both registrations and the number of people taking first doses plateauing, the government could also consider reducing the gap between two doses of Covishield from the current 12 weeks to four weeks. This will help it reach its target of vaccinating the entire eligible adult population by the end of the year.

N Sadhasiva Reddy


Published on October 15, 2021

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