Friday, June 26, 2009

Power and Water Riots India

Power and water riots in India erupt every year and this year is no different. The intensity and frequency increases every year. With monsoon showing no signs of appearing and the temperature averaging 43 C/110 F and peaking at 45 C it is particularly bad this year.

Today I got stuck on the highway near the farm due to the locals blocking the road with buses and tractors because there has been negligible electricity in the whole area since the heat wave started. It took me almost twice as long as normal to reach my home and it left me totally drained. I don't have air-conditioning and I had to drench my head with cold water twice.

I have talked about the problems we face every year during summers on my post "The Unearthly Earth Hour." The government seems to be no hurry to relinquish control over the power and water sectors and instead preaches the virtues of conservation. The governments all over routinely force businesses to shut down to save power.

It doesn't strike people as odd that in sectors where there is free-competition there is no such talk and consumers are exhorted to consume more and get better prices as more competition arrives. It has happened in telecom which previously was a government monopoly and people had to wait for as long as ten years to get a phone connection.

Today you can get a cell phone connection in minutes and even people earning less then $2 a day have a phone. In Delhi call rates are as low as 20 paise (half a cent) a minute. The same has been seen in all the sectors which have been liberated from the slimy paws of the bureaucrats.

2 comments:

JG said...

Rajesh,
Your post brings back painful memories. Through my years of growing up in India I never believed human life was meant to be lived in those types of circumstances (though I did not have the prerequisite knowledge in those years to support my pre-conceptual thinking-nor did I know that such knowledge was out there already discovered)that were found in India-"It has happened in telecom which previously was a government monopoly and people had to wait for as long as ten years to get a phone connection."

The Cap & Trade bill (over $2trillion in new taxes) passed the US House of Reps. on Friday.

Will we see riots in the US in the near future -I would rather not think about that possiblity.
Jasmine

Rajesh said...

It can be a bit depressing but as Edward Cline said on Objectivists being the new Sons of Liberty, we must keep on arguing, talking, writing, and protesting, to get as many people on our side as possible.

And I would like to think, instead of riots, the tea parties would do the trick.

So, cheer up, ok?