Thursday, January 27, 2011

DAY 118 – Bellary to Bangalore

Tapping alternate energy sources is a must to optimize the use and allocation of scarce resources. At the same time it should also ensure that it does not engender waste of other ersources. I remember the heated debates we had in Hubli in 2003/4 at the time of setting up the facilities in the new ORH, where many of the Officers were resident. The Chief Electrical Engineer, Mr. Bajwa, swore by Solar Power to produce the hot water requirement in the ORH. He even harnessed it to meet his cooking needs. The arithmetic he produced in favor of energy saving carried the day and solar panels were installed in the ORH. The enormous waste of water before the Solar Power heated water flowed through the tap was considered inconsequential in comparison to the saving in the energy bill. What was not accounted for, deliberately I feel at times, is the cost to entire society by way of wastage of another precious resource, water. When I wanted hot water in the Hubli ORH yesterday all I got was cold water as the Solar Panels were not functioning properly. This morning in the JSW GH I was alarmed by the amount of cold water that had to be run through the tap before hot water became available by the ‘cheaper source’ of Solar Power.
 I had decided to take the Bellary-Ananthpur-Bangalore route but thanks to a wrong turn I ended up on the Bellary-Challikere-Hiriyur-Bangalore route. I had decided to take the former route due to the excellent NH7 between Anathpur and Bangalore. As it turned out the SH up to Hiriyur was quite good except for the frequent speed breakers that often sprang upon you unannounced.  The NH4 from Hiriyur to Bangalore was top class. By and large, I have found that the tolled national and state roads are maintained far better than the non-tolled highways. I reached the outskirts of Bangalore city in less than 5 hours from Bellary.
As a resident of Cochin and Kerala I have come to believe that a city would be ‘closed’ on a National Holiday. However, as I drove into Bangalore I realized that such experiences are limited to within the borders of Kerala. A large number of shops were open, even the government operated liquor outlets. Kerala has a large number of ‘dry days’ enforced by the government in an apparent bid to reign in the ‘evil’ of drinking. By now there is enough evidence to prove that liquor sales are brisker on the eve of designated ‘dry days’ and ‘hartals’. Thus, the daily average consumption is maintained as per the trend of the year despite such closures.

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