1.6 bn people living in darkness, 25 percent Indians: IPCC

July 8th, 2008 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) One out of every four people in the world without access to electricity is an Indian, said R.K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “It’s a sad fact that 1.6 billion people are living in darkness, of which 400 million are from India,” Pachauri said at a press conference here Tuesday.

According to government data, 76 million rural households in India lack access to electricity. Of this, 65 million use kerosene for lighting.

He said his Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi had launched the Lighting a Billion Lives Programme (LaBL) to provide light to “billion lives” in India and abroad.

Pachauri, director general of TERI, said they had developed solar lanterns and were currently working in seven Indian states.

These solar lanterns can benefit 65 million households and eventually reduce 5.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide gas emissions from kerosene lanterns, TERI officials explained.

Authorities said a single household consumes nearly four-six litres of kerosene a month, which means they spend nearly Rs.60-80.

“Solar lanterns provide better illumination and eliminate health problems associated with kerosene lanterns, at a lower or comparable cost,” said a TERI official.

“I don’t understand why the government is still providing subsidy to kerosene when there is an option of switching over to solar light. Looking at the growing oil prices at the global level, we need to switch over to renewable energy,” Pachauri said.

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