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Home News Power Sector News Cities should embrace energy norms - urban development ministry

Cities should embrace energy norms - urban development ministry

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MumbaiThe urban development ministry wants to make it mandatory for cities to adopt energy-efficient practices in construction, solid-waste management, water conservation and public transport, two officials said. The ministry is working on plans that are part of the eight missions of the national action plan on climate change, which was announced in June. It is framing regulations for one of the missions.

“There is no money allocable for this. We’ve had certain rounds of discussions with the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) and are ready for his (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s) considerations,” said a ministry official, who declined to be identified.Another government official confirmed the ministry’s plans. He too did not want to be named.

The ministry has already prescribed fuel-efficiency standards as well as technical parameters for public transportation as part of a bus finance scheme it announced early this year. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, which comes under the purview of the power ministry, had released a draft energy conservation and building code in 2006.

While these codes are voluntary, the new plan will force cities to amend laws to make these mandatory. “We are looking to see what all has to be incorporated and where it can be incentivized,” the first official said. He said incentives could be provided for reducing wastage below a certain level or for effective recycling. Some analysts are cautiously optimistic about the government move.

O.P. Mathur, urban development expert and a principal consultant with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, said the move was good, but the government should iron out the technical specifications as well as see whether adopting the standards would be financially viable for homeowners. “As an owner of a house, I would want to know if this increases the cost and, if so, by how much,” Mathur said.

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