Short essay on energy crises in India

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In the modern industrialized society power is an essential in­gredient of economic development. For developing country like India, it is the life-line of our progress.

Coal is one of the important sources of energy in India. The total workable reserves of coal are estimated at 1,30,000 million tonnes for the country as a whole. Two-thirds of India’s coal re­serves lie too deep and their extraction is not profitable under the present technological conditions. The production of selected grades of coal has not risen significantly and this is because of the exhaus­tion of workable resources. From the above quoted statistics one can easily gather that coal cannot be considered as a dependable source of energy for industry in India.

Mineral oil is the other important source of energy. The total resources of mineral oil, as estimated in December, 1962 are of the order of 44 million tonnes. The Fourth Plan envisaged an increase in oil production from 5 million tonnes to 8’5 million tonnes in 1973 and 1974. The actual production of the crude oil in 1971 and 1972 was 7.5 million tonnes. Incessant efforts have been made to explore new oil regions that is why Natural Gas Commission was set up in 1956. The Commission undertook geological surveys and drilling operations at so many places in Punjab, Assam, etc. Oil was struck at Cambay and Ankleshwar. Recently the Government of India has also started Bombay-High off shore drilling.

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Electric energy is the principal source of power in India at present. In this respect India is far behind the advanced countries in the installed capacity and production of electric power. U.S.A. produced 72 times as much energy as India in 1970 and in Japan per capita electric energy production is 31 times that of India. At the end of the Fourth Plan production of power in the public sector will be raised to 23 million KW whereas the beginning of the First Plan the total installed capacity stood at 2’3 million KW.

Recent technological advancement has proved that without the use of nuclear power it would not be possible for any country to make industrial progress. No doubt the cost of building a nuclear

power station might be higher yet in the ultimate analysis it is economical Thus the Tarapur Atomic Power Station and the Rajas- than Atomic Power Station at Rana Pratap Sagar have already gone into production. Uranium and thorium are the two principal sources of nuclear energy. The resources of uranium are limited that is 2,000 tonnes but the country’s resources of thorium are the largest in the world that is 5,00,000 tonnes.

At the end of the year 1971, 42 lakh KVV of nuclear power was generated. But by the end of 1975 it will be increased to nearly 6 lakhs KW. Thus power supply position is likely to improve as a result of increase in installed capacity by 2″ 12 million KW in 1974-75. But essentially we will have to depend upon nuclear energy in order to meet the recent energy crisis in India.

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Energy crisis in itself seems to be somewhat insignificant but it has important alter and side effects. If there is a serious energy crisis it may affect the industrial development, there may be a com­plete depression in industry. The depression in industry would lead to economic crises in the country. For a developing nation like India where it is necessary to inculcate confidence and where it is necessary to strengthen democratic forces this type of situation should never arise. Energy helps in making the country prosperous and the recent crisis made all the States of India to shelve some of the plans of industrial development.

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