1 + 2 + 3 + … = -1/12. ✓✓✓

The Bernoulli numbers B_n are a sequence of signed rational numbers that can be defined by the exponential generating function

numberedequation1

These numbers arise in the series expansions of trigonometric functions, and are extremely important in number theory and analysis.

The Bernoulli number  can be defined by the contour integral

numberedequation2

where the contour encloses the origin, has radius less than 2pi (to avoid the poles at +/-2pii), and is traversed in a counterclockwise direction.

bernoullinumberdigits_1000

The numbers of digits in the numerator of B_n for the n=2, 4, … are 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 4, 5, 6, 6, 9, 7, 11, … , while the numbers of digits in the corresponding denominators are 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 1, 3, 5, 3, …. Both of these are plotted above.

The denominator of B_(2n) is given by

numberedequation4

where the product is taken over the primes p, a result which is related to the von Staudt-Clausen theorem.

In 1859 Riemann published a paper giving an explicit formula for the number of primes up to any preassigned limit—a decided improvement over the approximate value given by the prime number theorem. However, Riemann’s formula depended on knowing the values at which a generalized version of the zeta function equals zero. (The Riemann zeta function is defined for all complex numbers—numbers of the form x + iy, where i = (−1), except for the line x = 1.) Riemann knew that the function equals zero for all negative even integers −2, −4, −6, … (so-called trivial zeros), and that it has an infinite number of zeros in the critical strip of complex numbers between the lines x = 0 and x = 1, and he also knew that all nontrivial zeros are symmetric with respect to the critical line x = 1/2. Riemann conjectured that all of the nontrivial zeros are on the critical line, a conjecture that subsequently became known as the Riemann hypothesis. In 1900 the German mathematician David Hilbert called the Riemann hypothesis one of the most important questions in all of mathematics, as indicated by its inclusion in his influential list of 23 unsolved problems with which he challenged 20th-century mathematicians. In 1915 the English mathematician Godfrey Hardy proved that an infinite number of zeros occur on the critical line, and by 1986 the first 1,500,000,001 nontrivial zeros were all shown to be on the critical line. Although the hypothesis may yet turn out to be false, investigations of this difficult problem have enriched the understanding of complex numbers.

Suppose you want to put a probability distribution on the natural numbers for the purpose of doing number theory. What properties might you want such a distribution to have? Well, if you’re doing number theory then you want to think of the prime numbers as acting “independently”: knowing that a number is divisible by p should give you no information about whether it’s divisible by q

That quickly leads you to the following realization: you should choose the exponent of each prime in the prime factorization independently. So how should you choose these? It turns out that the probability distribution on the non-negative integers with maximum entropy and a given mean is a geometric distribution. So let’s take the probability that the exponent of p is k to be equal to (1−rp)rpk  for some constant rp

This gives the probability that a positive integer n = p1e1…pkek occurs as

C ∏ki=1 rpei

, where

C = ∏p(1-rp)

So we need to choose rp such that this product converges. Now, we’d like the probability that n occurs to be monotonically decreasing as a function of n. It turns out that this is true iff r= p−s for some s > 1 (since C has to converge), which gives the probability that n occurs as

1/ns/ζ(s), 

ζ(s) is the zeta function.

The Riemann-Zeta function is a complex function that tells us many things about the theory of numbers. Its mystery is increased by the fact it has no closed form – i.e. it can’t be expressed a single formula that contains other standard (elementary) functions.

riemannzetareimabs

riemannzetaridges_700

The plot above shows the “ridges” of  inline4 for  0 < x < 1 and 0 < y < 100. The fact that the ridges appear to decrease monotonically for 0 ≤ x ≤ 1/2 is not a coincidence since it turns out that monotonic decrease implies the Riemann hypothesis. 

On the real line with x>1, the Riemann-Zeta function can be defined by the integral

numberedequation1-1

where Gamma(x) is the gamma function. If x is an integer n, then we have the identity,

inline14

=  inline17

=  inline20

so,

numberedequation2-1

The Riemann zeta function can also be defined in the complex plane by the contour integral

numberedequation16

inline78 , where the contour is illustrated below

riemannzetafunctiongamma_1000

Zeros of inline79 come in (at least) two different types. So-called “trivial zeros” occur at all negative even integers , , , …, and “nontrivial zeros” at certain

numberedequation17

for s in the “critical strip0<sigma<1. The Riemann hypothesis asserts that the nontrivial Riemann zeta function zeros of zeta(s) all have real part sigma=R[s]=1/2, a line called the “critical line.” This is now known to be true for the first 250×10^9 roots.

riemannzetacriticalstrip_700

The plot above shows the real and imaginary parts of zeta(1/2+iy) (i.e., values of zeta(z) along the critical line) as y is varied from 0 to 35.

Now consider this John Cook’s take…

S_p(n) = \sum_{k=1}^n k^p

where p is a positive integer. Here looking at what happens when p becomes a negative integer and we let n go to infinity.

If p < -1, then the limit as n goes to infinity of Sp(n) is ζ(-p). That is, for s > 1, the Riemann-Zeta function ζ(s) is defined by

\zeta(s) = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^s}

We don’t have to limit ourselves to real numbers s > 1; the definition holds for complex numbers s with real part greater than 1. That’ll be important below.

When s is a positive even number, there’s a formula for ζ(s) in terms of the Bernoulli numbers:

\zeta(2n) = (-1)^{n-1} 2^{2n-1} \pi^{2n} \frac{B_{2n}}{(2n)!}

The best-known special case of this formula is that

1 + 1/4 + 1/9 + 1/16 + … = π2 / 6.

It’s a famous open problem to find a closed-form expression for ζ(3) or any other odd argument.

The formula relating the zeta function and Bernoulli tells us a couple things about the Bernoulli numbers. First, for n ≥ 1 the Bernoulli numbers with index 2n alternate sign. Second, by looking at the sum defining ζ(2n) we can see that it is approximately 1 for large n. This tells us that for large n, |B2n| is approximately (2n)! / 22n-1 π2n.

We said above that the sum defining the Riemann zeta function is valid for complex numbers s with real part greater than 1. There is a unique analytic extension of the zeta function to the rest of the complex plane, except at s = 1. The zeta function is defined, for example, at negative integers, but the sum defining zeta in the half-plane Re(s) > 1 is not valid.

One must have seen the equation

1 + 2 + 3 + … = -1/12.

This is an abuse of notation. The sum on the left clearly diverges to infinity. But if the sum defining ζ(s) for Re(s) > 1 were valid for s = -1 (which it is not) then the left side would equal ζ(-1). The analytic continuation of ζ is valid at -1, and in fact ζ(-1) = -1/12. So the equation above is true if you interpret the left side, not as an ordinary sum, but as a way of writing ζ(-1). The same approach could be used to make sense of similar equations such as

12 + 22 + 32 + … = 0

and

13 + 23 + 33 + … = 1/120.

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Is the Hierarchical Society Cardinal?

Even the question posed has a stink of the inhuman, or un-human, though it is evident that in theory we might try and flatten such hierarchies, the same never holds true in practice. Although such hierarchies might be held on to surreptitiously, the tendency to be resilient is never really ruled out in matters as sensitive as these, which make us prone to getting branded as fundamentalists or fanatics, or anything which has semblance to the right-wing ideology. So, in a nutshell, hierarchies in the Social are indeed emanating from the right-wing, or are at least given to sway in their descriptions and prescriptions.

So, are these hierarchies important? Well, the answer at first go is a strict ‘no’. But, let us deliberate upon. One way is to look upon hierarchy as dominant, and the other is identity when there is an absence of hierarchies. Now, those that belong to the first camp would imply reciprocity as enabling social order. Reciprocity is a relationship that exists one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one as regards the first camp, while one and the many merge into one another as regards the second camp. In the first camp, reciprocity is built up on adherence, while in the second, it is more and more symbiotic. The existing of social strata could advocate the existence of micro-cultural forms characterised by the features that lead to the formation of such strata in the first place and could include notions like religiosity, power (both muscle and economic), cultural and intellectual/ideological. On the flip side, such notions are tolerant towards multiculturalism or pluralism. Dominance becomes a nested approach, while becoming-identity is a web-like structure with nodes of individuals or clusters of societies that interact on a horizontal level, or to put it more politically, act on a democratic level, in theory at least, to say the least. Disturbance in this net is knotted into a nest, where dominance takes over the democratic structure and subsequently forcing the second camp to be evacuated onto the first one. Now here is where the catch lies. From netted to a nested structure would mean classification, and it is classification that gets conceptual authority, thus in a hugely ironical manner ameliorating the potential of conflicts due to centralised authoritarian structure. This is its use value. Hierarchies try to make sense out of the apparent relationships between things with the caveat that orientations that determine those relations are just looming round the corner.

In hierarchical societies there are domains of individuals, clusters, micro-cultures or societies that are instances of isolated-ness from each other, whereas in non-hierarchical societies these domains tendentially overlap into one another, or even across one another making the very study of latter kind of studies difficult in intent. Other use value would lie in mapping domains become easier in dominance or stratified societies as compared with in non-hierarchical societies.

hero_eef46fe0-ae85-4611-b147-bd77c3993347

Manifold(s) of Deleuzean/De Landian Intensity(ies): The Liquid Flowing Chaos of Complexity

fluid_dynamics_by_aetasserenus

The potential for emergence is pregnant with that which emerges from it, even if as pure potential, lest emergence would be just a gobbledygook of abstraction and obscurity. Some aspects of emergence harness more potential or even more intensity in emergence. What would intensity mean here? Emergence in its most abstract form is described by differentiation, which is the perseverance of differing by extending itself into the world. Thus intensity or potentiality would be proportional to intensity/quality, and degree/quantity of differentiation. The obvious question is the origin of this differentiation. This comes through what has already been actualized, thus putting forth a twist. The twist is in potential being not just abstract, but also relative. Abstract, because potential can come to mean anything other than what it has a potential for, and relative, since, it is dependent upon intertwining within which it can unfold. So, even if intensity for the potential of emergence is proportional to differentiation, an added dimension of meta-differentiation is introduced that not only deals with the intensity of the potential emergence it actualizes, but also in turn the potential, which, its actualization gives rise to. This complexification of emergence is termed complexity.

Complexity is that by which emergence intertwines itself with intensity, thus laden with potentiality itself. This, in a way, could mean that complexity is a sort of meta-emergence, in that, it contains potential for the emergence of greater intensity of emergence. This implies that complexity and emergence require each other’s presence to co-exist and co-evolve. If emergence is, by which, complexity manifests itself in actuality in the world, then complexity is, by which, emergence surfaces as potential through intertwining. Where would Deleuze and Guattari fit in here? This is crucial, since complexity for the said thinkers is different from the way it has been analyzed above. And let us note where the difference rests. To have to better cope with the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari, it is mandated to invite Manuel De Landa with his intense reading of the thinkers in question. The point is proved in these words of John Protevi,

According to Manuel DeLanda, in the late 60s, Gilles Deleuze began to formulate some of the philosophical significance of what is now sometimes referred to as “chaos/complexity theory,” the study of “open” matter/energy systems which move from simple to complex patterning and from complex to simple patterning. Though not a term used by contemporary scientists in everyday work (“non-linear dynamics” is preferred), it can be a useful term for a collection of studies of phenomena whose complexity is such that Laplacean determinism no longer holds beyond a limited time and space scale. Thus the formula of chaos/complexity might be “short-term predictability, long-term unpredictability.

Here, potentiality is seen as creative for philosophy within materialism. An expansion on the notion of unity through assemblages of multiple singularities is on the cards, that facilitate the dislodging of anthropocentric view points, since such views are at best limited, with over-insistence on the rationale of world as a stable and solid structure. The solidity of structures is to be rethought in terms that open vistas for potential creation. The only way out to accomplish this is in terms of liquid structures that are always vulnerable to chaos and disorder considered a sine qua non for this creative potential to emerge. In this liquidity, De Landa witnesses the power to self-organize and further, the ability to form an ethics of sorts, one untouched by human static control, and which allows an existence at the edge of creative, flowing chaos. Such a position is tangible in history as a confluence of infinite variations, a rationale that doesn’t exist when processes are dynamic, thus wanting history to be rooted in materialism of a revived form. Such a history is one of flowing articulations not determined by linear and static constructions, but by infinite bifurcations, of the liquid unfolding, thus exposing a collective identity from a myriad of points and perspectives. This is complexity for Deleuze and Guattari, which enables a re-look at material systems through their powers of immanent autopoiesis or self-organization.

Killing Joke: Tata Power’s CGPL launches Bio-Diversity Club in Mundra. A Response

Let us stray into the some of the cold corners of the human heart. Its not that this blog hasn’t been doing that already, but, this time, it is with a difference, and that being some sort of activism that I was involved in, in one of the most ecologically rich marine diverse system I have had the chance to walk through. So, whats the cold corner of the thought referred to being here. Thanks to Joe, I chanced upon reading this piece, which on a cursory glance and to the one who hasn’t been privileged enough to walk the ecosystem, this might be good intentioned, but then road to hell is paved with good intentions and for the perpetrators of this large-scale eco-disaster, man-made and waiting to explode and go defunct, hell is the other people, just to echo Sartre. The post in question deals with Tata Power’s thermal-fired power plant in Mundra in Kutch (variously spelled as Kachchh in the Indian state of Gujarat), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), and how as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the company has had the audacity to launch a bio-diversity club in Mundra to safeguard the rich ecology, after having first built one of India’s largest 4000 MW power plant on the coast and in the process wrecking an irreversible damage to the rich ecosystem the company now has suddenly woken up to safeguarding. So, it is a matter of flogging the dead horse, or even more tersely bringing back to life from dead through these exclusively hollowed CSR activities. I shall come to that in a while, but before that let us look at the background of the disaster in brief.

Why is it that the Tata Mundra Project keeps bouncing back to become a bone of contention for all across the spectrum; from the financiers to the beneficiaries, the owners, as well as the people of the area? Why is this project, likely to become the largest power generation unit in the country, being opposed nationally and globally? Obviously, there is more than meets the eye. So, what exactly went wrong? Let us take the first step through the power quagmire in the country. India has always had chronic problems in meeting the electricity needs of its’ peoples. At the beginning of the post-liberal era or the mid-1990s, the then Congress Government, headed by P.V. Narsimhan Rao, initiated a series of measures to address the already growing crisis. It promulgated a Mega Power Policy, whereby projects of more than 1,000 MW would be built to improve the electricity grid in the country. This would apply to projects anywhere in the country, except for the states of Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India, where the cap on generational capacity was reduced to 700 MW. What looked like a decent plan on paper, however, failed in practice, as the gap between supply and demand just kept increasing. It was ten years before the Government decided to amplify the Mega Power Projects (MPPs) by setting up Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) in a bid to overcome the shortfall. The prefixing of ‘Ultra’ meant a multiplication by a factor of 4 of what the MPPs were hitherto envisaged to generate. In other words, a generational capacity of 4,000 MW made the projects Ultra Mega. Fair enough.

The Tata Mundra Project (Coastal Gujarat Power Limited and CGPL hereafter), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, became the first UMPP that got approved by the Government of India in 2006-07 and was established in Mundra in the Kutch area of Gujarat. Kutch is an ecologically fragile region having a coastline dotted with mangroves, sand dunes, coral reefs, mudflats and a nest of some of the rarest marine species. The coalfired thermal plant adds to the vulnerability of the marine ecology and is built near the massive Mundra SEZ (Special Economic Zone). It also happens to be one amongst the many power generational units over the coastline of 70 km that together would produce 22,000 MW of power.

tata_mundra_1-79ff0

Photo Credit: Sanjeev Thareja

So, how did this project come about? As in the case of UMPPs, the proposal for this project was initially nurtured by the government-owned Power Finance Corporation of India (PFC) and after a competitive bidding process, Tata Power took over by offering the lowest levelized tariff of Rs. 2.26 (US $ 0.04) per KWh. The project consists of five units of 800 MW each and is priced at a whopping US $4.14 billion. The funding for the project comes from a consortium of Indian banks, led by the State Bank of India and contributions from other National Financial Institutions; like India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Indore, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Travancore and also through External Commercial Borrowing (ECB). The ECB comprises of International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, Exim Bank of Korea, Korea Export Insurance Corporation and the BNP Paribas. Of the whopping cost of the project, the financing from IFC and ADB is US $450 million each, which appears to be a mere chunk of the whole. However, it has a huge leverage point, since it is assumed that funding from these multilateral giants gets approval only if safeguards and guidelines laid down by them are met successfully.

Switching over to the financial impracticality of the project, the coal that fires the plant comes wholly from Indonesia. After a decision by the Indonesian Government to link mineral exports to market rates in September 2010 and taking effect in 2011, importing coal has become dearer. The immediate logical implication of this is a restructuring of the tariff rates from the one that helped bid for the project in the first place. That was exactly the route undertaken and based on some riders that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) extended, including sharing profits earned by Tata’s Indonesian mining companies, sacrificing one per cent return of equity (RoE) and lowering auxiliary consumption of 4.75 per cent, further brought down the effective compensatory rate to 47 paise (US $ 0.01) per unit. As a result of this compensation, the retail rate from the CGPL for consumers in the five procuring states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra is expected to rise by 0.4 – 1.8 per cent.

This might come as a relief, but is clearly not, since four of the five states benefiting from the electricity generated at the plant, plan to legally challenge the move by the regulator to let CGPL pass on increased fuel costs on power purchasers. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab have taken an in-principle decision to approach the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APE) against the order by the CERC. These states are pondering filing separate petitions against the compensation extended to CGPL. An official involved with a long-drawn legal and regulatory battle, on conditions of anonymity, said, “The states are approaching the ATE on a major issue of sanctity of the PPA (power purchase agreement) signed by these for 25 years. CERC’s order will ensure that financial condition of buyer utilities will further deteriorate.” In a very recent development, Tata Power even signed the option of selling 5 per cent of its stake in its Indonesian coal mine to the Bakrie Group at US $250 million to reduce its debt.

taka_mundra_2-b5c65

Photo Credit: Sanjeev Thareja

Since the Kutch coastline is marine rich, fishing becomes one of the major means of livelihood. Thus, the main inhabiting population of the coast happens to be a migratory fishing community locally called bunders. They live in fishing settlements for 8-9 months of the year when fisheries reach an economic peak and then go back inland to the villages for the remaining part of the year. Other economic means are more rural-economy oriented and involvement in salt making, animal rearing and cashcrop cultivation is common. Mundra is a blessed oasis, in an otherwise hot and parched area that borders the great desert, with groundwater fit for drinking and agricultural and horticultural options in the offing. The Project has undoubtedly disrupted the prevalent order with a promise too difficult to keep and the players involved too complacent to mend their ways.

CGPL is located next to another UMPP, the Adani Power Project and both of these are fueled by coal- the thorn in the bush to climate change polylogues all over the world. Tata Mundra is fed entirely on coal imported from Indonesia. With the world trying hard to come to grips with excessive hazard due to the burning of this fossil fuel, the ratiocinating of the Government of India seems to have gone on a tailspin, with a trail of such plants dotting the vast shoreline of the country and the mineralrich hinterlands. All of this in an attempt to solve the official line of the “demand versus supply” equation.

The northern coast of Kutch, where Mundra is located, has witnessed large-scale, rampant industrialization in the last decade. Adani port (the largest private-sector port of the country), Adani SEZ, OPG’s coal-fired thermal plant and metal forging units have already done more than enough to cause irreparable damages to the geography of the land and sea. They have torn the social fabric of the population and left their economic means in tatters. What should really be occupying the mind of the company has eluded it completely, for CGPL plans for an expansion of 1,600 MW to the existing capacity, disregarding the mitigation that it has orchestrated in the first place.

So, what is amply clear is the presence of resistance to such large-scale industrialization by ground-level and grassroots movements, who are trying not just to safeguard the rich-biodiversity, but at the same time also trying to safeguard their livelihood, which is largely marine-dependent and is now under the constant threat of shrinking to a point. These people, of the ethnic clan and minority religion are getting sandwiched between the devil and deep sea with their resources fast depleting. And, these were the ones who primarily owned up to their coexistence with the diversity the piece now speaks of safeguarding, for the former knew this damage would be irreversible and the only way to save the region was to halt this rampant industrialization. The fisherfolk took their call and fought and are still resilient in the face of diminishing returns.

Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) that transliterates into Association for the Struggle for Fish workers’ Rights is a local organization of the affected communities which filed a complaint with the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) – an independent recourse mechanism for the IFC and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group – in June of 2011. The complaint outlined parameters where the IFC committed significant policy breaches and supervision failures and wanted the CAO to weigh in with its findings. After a two-year long rigorous process, CAO came out with its findings that validated the complainant’s case by admitting to policy breaches, supervision failures and leniencies on IFC’s part. As a result, there were lapses and impacts:

1. The Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) filed by CGPL was deficient and shockingly, even failed to identify certain communities as project-affected. 
2. A cumulative impact study was not carried out despite the presence of certain large-scale polluting industries in the vicinity. 
3. CGPL failed to conduct adequate, meaningful and informed consultation with the affected communities and even shied away from sharing information about the action and mitigation plans. 
4. There was a clear violation of the environmental clearance with large stretches of mangroves, dry-land forests and bio-diversity rich creeks meeting a destructive end during the construction of the outfall and inlet channels. 
5. CGPL U-turned from the initial deal to have a closed-cycle cooling system and switched over to a cheaper and more environmentally destructive once-through cooling system. Why CGPL turned the degrees is reason defying. 
6. Access roads for the fisher-folk and pastoralists to their respective fishing and grazing grounds were either blocked or diverted, forcing the villagers to unusually longer routes and impacting their finances as a result of increased transportation costs and delays. 
7. The project has accentuated a decline in fish catch, which has been recorded empirically ever since the CGPL became fully operational. The situation has also aggravated due to the adjacent Adani project. 
8. There is inadequacy in addressing the health and environmental impacts of ash contamination from the project. It has contaminated drying fish, salt and animal fodder in the area, giving rise to significant health concerns. Adding to the woes, ignoring the potential hazard of radioactivity from the coal ash pond has deteriorating health impacts. Due to such health hazards, the children and the elderly are most vulnerable to respiratory ailments and the gravity of the situation can be gauged by the fact that the two coal plants are together burning 28 million tons of coal every year. 
9. Turning over to the finances and cost-benefit side of CGPL. The company totally ignored cost overruns and a likely tariff increase in times to come, by either misrepresenting it or underestimating its bid. As a result, the financial burdens would conveniently be placed on the customers.

CAO confirmed the inadequacy on IFC’s part to consider in its risk assessment studies the seasonally resident fishing community; the majority members of which belong to a religious minority and are most susceptible to be affected by the project. This excluded a population of close to 25,000 from application of land acquisition standards, biodiversity conservationism and other relevant policies enacted for their protection as laid down in the Performance Standard 5 of the IFC.ii The audit report pointed that IFC was lackadaisical in fulfilling requirements to manage impacts on airshed and the marine environment. On a more specific level, CAO brought to light that IFC did not ensure that its client CGPL applied the 1998 WB guidelines for thermal power, which puts a cap on the net increase on emissions of particulates or sulphur dioxide within the airshed. In case of marine environment, CAO found that the IFC did not possess any robust baseline data and thus, the future impacts of the project were bound to be missing a crucial component. IFC did not assure itself of the plant’s seawater cooling system as complying with the applicable IFC Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines. This could be gauged from the fact that when CGPL bid for the project, they had a closed water cooling system in mind, which suddenly got switched over to a once-open cooling system, which is more hazardous, even if economically cheaper. The failure not to comply is significant, since the thermal plume from the project’s outfall channel will extend well into the shallow waters of the estuary, posing an existential risk to marine life and marine resources. The coast of Mundra is getting dense with industries that are highly polluting and a failure to conduct a cumulative study when a new industry is planned is a grave injustice, not only to the geology of the region, but also to the demography of the region. The latter is largely left ignorant of the hazards that accompany the erection of a new industry, which, incidentally are the cumulative causes of an alliance with other industries in the vicinity. A lender like the IFC, which is known for its safeguards and guidelines and is at least insistent on paper that a strict adherence to it is be followed, could not have deliberately chosen to ignore this grave risk. This was nothing but a felony committed by IFC, since it failed to undertake a cumulative impact assessment of the area. It even failed to advice and admonish its client CGPL that environmental and social risks emerging from the project’s proximity to the Mundra Port and the Adani Power Plant and SEZ should have been assessed by a third party, neutral in stature, which in turn would help devise mitigation measures. Therefore, a compounded assessment made by the CAO sternly suggested that IFC’s review and adoption of its client’s reports are not robust to ensure that the performance standards and supervision requirements are met.

So, how did the IFC react to the recourse mechanism’s findings? They reacted by proficiently dismissing and essentially rejecting them. They audaciously defended their decision to fund the project, their client CGPL and even passed over any remedial action plan. Since the CAO reports directly to the President of the WBG, the report with its findings was tabled before Dr. Jim Yong Kim; who sat over it in bureaucratic silence for close to a month. He eventually cleared the management response, thus acquitting the IFC of any wrong doing and putting a question mark over the need for the compliance mechanism. Dr. Kim – who with his constant rant of a sensible investment by the Bank that would give highest importance to climate change mitigation on one hand and a commitment to eradicate extreme poverty on the other – clearly failed to deliver on his promises. Three months after the CAO’s findings, ADB’s Compliance Review Panel (CRP) decided to investigate policy violations while financing the 4,000 Mw coal plant. ADB’s board of directors approved the recommendation of its accountability mechanism, the CRP for a full investigation. According to Joe Athialy, in its eligibility report, CRP said, “The CRP finds prima facie evidence of noncompliance with ADB policies and procedures, and prima facie evidence that this noncompliance with ADB policies has led to harm or is likely to lead to future harm. Given the evidence of noncompliance… the CRP concludes that the noncompliance is serious enough to warrant a full compliance review.” CRP found the following evidence of noncompliance: insufficient public consultations; the project-affected area is defined erroneously; CGPL discharges water at a higher temperature than is allowed by ADB standards; ADB’s air emission standards are not met; insufficient cumulative impact assessments; flawed social and environmental impact assessments; harmful effects of the cooling system on the environment and the fish harvest; inaccessibility of fishing grounds and effects of coal-dust emissions. The full investigation is underway, Joe added.

Even as the world took note of these damning and scathing reports by extending solidarity with the fisherfolk and their families, joined in by numerous Indian organizations, all of this seemed to have fell on deaf ears. The unanimous nature of their solidarity centered around community woes in accessing contaminated water and the loss of ecological resources at their disposal and suffering the impacts of air pollution. The protesting organizations appeared to be stunned by the decision that would have given a chance for the World Bank President to prove to the world that he, with his past rooted in public health advocacy and constant reminders of the commitment of the Bank to phase out of funding fossil fuels had not just frittered away.

Though a lot of solidarity was promised, what seems to be moving would only require a keen eye to detect, if at all there is even a semblance of it. A meeting with the higher-ups of IFC went on to commit that any actions plans that were being formulated would be diligently shared with the people affected, but eventually, all that came out from the office was what had come even before the project had been commissioned, thus proving the entirety of the exercise of an action plan as a non-starter. Building pressure from the ground-up appears to be the only strategy to work at the moment and this was vociferously expressed at the Spring Meeting in 2014 (+ how the fishermen sued the IFC in a development in the recent past). MASS came out with a four-point agenda, from which there was no question of budging. The petition mentioned above demands urgent actions to restore, rehabilitate and resettle, to provide adequate compensations, to acknowledges its lapses, to refuse the financing of any expansion and to make the IFC pull out of the project.

So far the IFC has hinted that it will not be financing the expansion.vi After being scanned by the compliance mechanism of the IFC, a complaint was also filed with the Asian Development Bank. Their recourse mechanism, the Compliance Review Panel (CRP), has taken the complaint seriously for an audit and is in the process of reviewing adherence to the safeguards and guidelines of the Asian multilateral giant. It is worth noting once more that even the ADB has an investment of US $450 million in Mundra.

This clearly shows that the CGPL finds itself in serious human rights’ violations of the people inhabiting the region. The CRP review process is currently on and their findings are awaited most eagerly. The really surprising question however, is why would the CGPL go in for an expansion of units when it is yet to sort out these urgent issues? What fuels this surprise further is the financial health of the project, which we turn attention to now. And to add salt to the injury, here is the eye-wash in the form of a club to safeguard bio-diversity. According to the piece linked in the beginning, the conservation plan has already been prepared and being implemented. Significant among them on which the work has already started are (a) White Napped tit ( Machlolophus nuchalis), a bird species . (b) Olax Nana which are the two important species of flora and Fauna respectively.

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Further insult come to the fore with CGPL having initiated the Club with the objective of developing a people centered-approach for bio-diversity conservation for creating more awareness among the employees. I wonder where are the people in the spectrum here, those who have been hitherto protectors of the ecosystem and who are now pushed further and further to the peripheries. They are as usual absent from the whole scheme of this delusional propaganda and are paying the price for they understand, they comprehend the episteme. The club will work towards motivating individuals to participate in activities that help protect the environment, and this is precisely where shamelessness embraces its expiration.

But, the most dismal comment on this initiative came from none other than the progenitor of this initiative, one Mr. KK Sharma, ED and CEO, CGPL, who said,

Kutch region is very special from a biodiversity point of view as it harbours its own unique forms of desert flora and fauna. Some species of plants and animals are of high conservation significance, both at the national and international level. Therefore, we at Tata Power’s Coastal Gujarat Power Limited took up this initiative to set up a bio-diversity club that will implement conservation programs to ensure the safety of the various species found in and around our power plants. We are grateful to our employees for the hard work they have put in to ensure the success of this initiative. CGPL’s Bio-diversity Club demonstrates our unwavering support and commitment towards society as a whole.

The entirety of the article/post written before this comment proves his point to be utterly dross, and reminds me of the saying that paranoia feeds on the crumbs of reality, and thats the reason for this sudden wake-up call from a disaster-producing and inducing slumber. In conclusion, what is this, but a drivel of sorts, where everything from the beginning seems to be heading the wrong way and where any attempt to straighten things out only lands the CGPL between the devil and the deep sea, or between the blades of a scissor? Then, why the perseverance by CGPL to make further promises when even the ones it made in the beginning failed disastrously? Is it enough to expand generational capacity to address the deficiency between supply and demand, even if it takes burning fossil fuels and the dirty coal? There isn’t much of an alternative in the thoughts of growth-led development pundits. With the country poignantly poised at an economic downturn and living on a daily basis getting costlier and costlier, whatever energy is generated is beyond affordance for the millions of citizens anyway. Then why not choose for cost-effective renewable sources that at least don’t kill by smoke; for the buzzword today is “coal kills” and there is no denying that. For the people at Mundra, as am sure with people all over the coal and thermal-power belts, their lives are getting darker by the day and whatever electricity is produced at the plant at whatever gain or loss; for the former is a myth while the latter a reality, makes nothing brighter for them.