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Make auto industry deliver on its promise

Glitz and glamour dazzled. The lure of jazzy cars at the recently concluded auto show stirred up mass hysteria, clogged roads, brought the city to a near halt. The dream sellers had them all entrapped. But the dream had a green wrapper - small cars, SUVs meeting the most stringent us norms, electric vehicles, hybrid cars, even CNG and diesel hybrid buses! The show is over. But serious questions persist. Need urgent answers. The show is definitely not over…

Making water-excreta accounts

How will India supply drinking water in cities? Many argue the problem is not inadequate water. The problem is the lack of investment in building infrastructure in cities and the lack of managerial capacities to operate the systems, once created. This line of thought then leads logically to policy reform, to invite private investment and hand over public water utilities to private parties to operate.

Excreta's economy: a true experience

Every society must understand how the excreta it produces is managed. It teaches us many things about water, about waste, about technologies to clean, economics and politics: of who is subsidised to defecate in our societies. But, most importantly, it teaches us humility. We know so little about our own world. If we knew better, we would understand why we are failing to ensure our present and why we will all need to do things differently, if we want to safeguard our future.

From water to water

Look out of the window the next time you travel by road or by train anywhere in India. Hit a human settlement, and you will see, heaps of plastic coloured garbage apart, pools of dirty black water and drains that go nowhere. They go nowhere because we have forgotten a basic fact: if there are humans, there will be excreta. Indeed, we have also forgotten another truth about the so-called modern world: if there is water use, there will be waste. Roughly 80 per cent of the water that reaches households flows out as waste.