aste is no longerwaste. Ask ColinDrummond,who recently led a group of British experts to India. Hesays that his company ViridorWaste makes a profit of £45million (US$88 million) on a £350 million annualturnover, by managing 87 cubic metres of landfill andgenerating 75 MW of energy from it besides. “Profit hasgrown by over 20 percent each year since 2000 and themarket value (of the firm) has grown from 200 millionpounds to over a billion pounds,” Drummond says.Such is the power of waste. While most would holdtheir noses at the sight of garbage, Drummond and hiscolleagues smell money there. What is more, and per-haps more importantly, proper and scientific waste man-agement brings hope of rejuvenation to a world belea-guered by increasing pollution and toxification of landand water resources, the all-imperilling spectre of glob-al warming, and rising sea levels. Britain’s waste man-agement is a revealing example.Once the segregation (plastic from other forms of waste, for example) is carried out, garbage sent to a land-fill shrinks considerably. Britain cut it from around 16million tonnes in 2001 to less than 12 million tonnes in2007 and has set itself a target of reducing it to five mil-lion tonnes by 2020!Other statistics open up astonishing vistas. In Britainagain, household recycling and composting rate hasgrown from 10 percent in 2001 and 26 percent in 2006and municipal authorities plan to increase it to 50 per-cent by 2020, Drummond says. Again, segregated wastesgenerate energy both through conventional methodsand by new ones such as pyrolysis and gassification.Drummond says that power generation from landfillgas has increased six-fold in Britain to 4,424 GigawattHours — representing nearly 24 percent of the total UKrenewable energy! Besides, there is considerable reduc-tion in methane emissions into the atmosphere.This issue of
showcases the power of waste.Alongside Drummond’s is a fascinating story of howSingapore has raised an island out of rubbish — rootedin a landfill out in the sea! It is an island where birds nestand people play… Amazingly, there’s no sight or smellat Semakau landfill that was once the last depository of Singapore’s garbage. The place is now a new holidayspot and today, you can navigate the tides and take inthe mangrove roots, seagrass, coral reefs, crabs, starfish-es, sponges, shrimps and many other forms of life thatthrive on the island.Far from home, in distant Haiti, India is one amongthree countries helping poor communities in a slum onthe rim of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, managegarbage through an innovative community-based wastemanagement project funded by India, Brazil and SouthAfrica along with the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme. The slum dwellers are converting trash tocash…There is significant relief for overseas Indian work-ers in the UAE where the government’s HigherCorporation for Specialised Economic Zones plans tobuild family-styled labour complexes to provide prop-er residential units for those with limited incomes.About 40 percent of the labour complexes will be allo-cated for families. Planned housing complexes will go along way in providing a sense of security and comfortfor expatriate Indian workers in the UAE.On the economic front, inflation has been of key con-cern. As
goes to press, the Reserve Bank of Indiaplans to hold a crucial meeting to discuss further mone-tary steps to help rein in inflation. Meanwhile, on July16, oil prices settled sharply lower for a second straightday — a spectacular drop that left crude more than $10cheaper in just two days of frenzied trading. Analysts are,however, unsure if the plunge could usher in a long-termshift in sentiment or if it was simply a short-term cor-rection to crude’s bull rally. Nevertheless, it is likely todetermine India’s measures to check inflation and prices.Kerala is forging ahead in the IT sector and has scoreda first by introducing the Private Public Partnershipmodel in its own Silicon Valley. “Our idea is to devel-op IT parks in all districts in the state. The two majorIT parks, Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, andInfopark in Kochi, will be the hubs while the proposeddistrict IT parks will be the spokes,” says N.Radhakrishnan Nair, director of Kerala State ITInfrastructure Ltd and chief executive of Thiruvananthapuram Technopark. Incidentally,Tiruvananthapuram Technopark is rated the best in thecountry. Kerala with its educational infrastructure andhigh human development index is sure to attract top tal-ent in its IT domain, challenging traditional rivalsBangalore and Hyderabad.There is fragrant news from the world of diaspora.Apparently, more and more Australians are getting smit-ten by the Indian rose! Australia’s The Lynch Group issigning an MoU with India’s Tanflora to import fresh-cut flowers. Come Valentine’s Day, Tanflora plans toexport over 10 million roses around the world, includ-ing Australia.This issue of
features Dr. Renu Khator, awoman who has scripted an unusual journey, one frommoffusil Kanpur to the hallowed environs of HoustonUniversity. Dr. Khator is President and Chancellor of the university and shares with our readers a life mostdream of emulating.Happy reading...
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