British Embassy, Wilhelmstr. 70, 10117 Berlin
Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Delhi
Delhi – India’s capital city is a rapidly growing metropolis with area of 1483 square kilometers and present population of approximately 15.5 million. It is a historic city dating back to 1300 BC and dotted with extraordinary monuments from its rich past. At the current growth rate of Delhi about 350, 000 persons get added to its population every year, which includes an influx of over 35% from other parts of the country. This puts a tremendous load on the city’s infrastructure like energy, transport, water, health and impacts the civil society in manifold ways. Environmental concerns and efficiency in utilization of the limited resources are therefore recognized as key factors by the policy makers in their effort to sustain the mega city. Important steps have been taken in the past five years to conserve resources and enhance their usage efficiency.
Implementation of the Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System (DMRTS) with a projected capacity to carry more than 2.6 million passengers daily will displace more than 2000 buses from the congested roads of Delhi. Reduction in fuel use, environmental pollution, and improvement in quality of life are the expected benefits that will push the city towards a greener low-carbon future. Policies for replacing diesel with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in city buses, taxis and three wheelers and strict implementation of emission norms have been important steps to improve Delhi’s environment. Introducing more efficient technologies, both for low emissions and more efficient fuel consumption in the transport sector have also been the hallmark of recent efforts of the Government. Delhi’s annual energy demand is about 3350 MW, and is growing at about 5 % each year. Only 40% of this requirement is being met from local generation facilities. The rest is met from the northern electricity grid which has a mix of thermal and hydro generated power. Use of clean coal by the local power generating units, better distribution of power to minimize T&D losses and consumer awareness have been the focus areas to reduce carbon emissions.
Despite rapid growth and the increasing habitation, the green cover over Delhi has been increasing as a result of the deliberate government policy and the pressure from the civil society. Per capita availability of drinking water at 373 litres in Delhi is one of the highest among the mega cities of the world. Still people suffer from water scarcity. Appreciating the need to promote sustainable life style, the Government of Delhi introduced a scheme called ‘BHAGIDARI’ or Partnership. The Resident Welfare Associations of all localities have been made partners of the administration in this all encompassing concept which does not bother about using the technical jargons for the sake of using them. The initiatives so far, together with Delhi’s Master Plan 2021, presently being discussed, are likely to lead to a low carbon future for the city.
Shambhu Singh is the Joint Secretary to the Government of India and Financial Adviser in the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research and CSIR with additional charge of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. He served as Director in the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi during the period from August 2002-December 2006. During this period he worked on climate change related policy issues, mainly their Science and Technology aspects, including economic dimensions. He strongly advocated the need for development of S&T Capacities to deal with Climate Change issues. He has participated in the IPCC and UNFCCC meetings as a member of the Indian delegation. He has been instrumental in the conception and evolution of an INDOFLUX network for lomg term environment and ecological monitoring.
Shambhu Singh has a Masters degree in Economics from Patna University and belongs to the elite Indian Administrative Service, which he joined in 1986. He has held several important positions in the Sates of Manipur and Tripura in North East India. He has served as the Sub-Divisional and District Magistrate in the State and as the Director of Industries. He then held the position of a Managing Director, Industrial Development Corporation and later served as Secretary to the Government of Manipur (2000-2002). He has also worked as a consultant to UNIDO. He also worked as Joint Development Commissioner for the Small scale industries with the Union Government where he was responsible for technology modernization in industrial clusters and implementation of the Montreal Protocol.