Cars and cars everywhere, not a drop of oil to fill | business | Hindustan Times
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Cars and cars everywhere, not a drop of oil to fill

If oil hits 200 dollars a barrel, Indian cities will have to be completely re-imagined. Bharti Chaturvedi reports.

business Updated: Feb 27, 2011 23:35 IST
Bharti Chaturvedi

If oil hits 200 dollars a barrel, Indian cities will have to be completely re-imagined. Nothing we have done will help us meet the crisis. Three decision points will be key.

Dramatically improved public transport, but also intermediate transport such as vans and mini-buses filling service gaps, will also have to be encouraged.

It will be disastrous to demolish slums, because people require to be close to their work. Instead, such sub-standard housing will simply have to be upgraded.

And third, we should expect greater upgrade of local infrastructure and facilities, so that residents are incentivised to undertake shorter commutes.

Not only residents, but even local government and municipality will require a stick and carrot policy to ensure they work within the framework of Article 74 and deliver what people want to use.

A green life-after-life

How can we be green after we die? While there is not much we can do as corpses, we can advocate for greener funerals in advance. Cremation can shift to the new, efficient, green crematoria recently initiated by ONGC.

Another key action is when to have your mercury fillings removed, cremated or not. Mercury evaporates at a low temperatures and small quantities cause a significant amount of damage.

An environmental NGO has estimated the mercury in a typical thermometer can contaminate a 20 acre lake enough for the fish to become unfit for consumption.

In the US, where cremation is becoming common, states like Colorado and Vermont are considering legislation. In our own Indian context, where families hesitate donating bodies and organs, extracting dental fillings from a dead relative might seem downright disgusting. This must change.