Electric Vehicles in India

Electric vehicles are automobiles that run on electricity instead of conventional petrol or diesel. While electricity is also produced only after burning fossil fuels, its carbon footprint is much lower, and the air pollution occurs far away from big cities or crowded towns. Electric cars and buses use rechargeable batteries for storing electricity, while trams and trolley buses use overhead wire for the same purpose. With rising prices for petrol and diesel, the Indian Government as well the state governments are looking to switch over to electric vehicles to not only reduce transportation but also reduce the mineral oil import to India. The Government at the same time is looking towards new greener sources of electric power like solar, wind, and hydro which will further reduce India’s dependency on mineral oil.

E-Rickshaw in Streets Carrying Passengers

One of the first revolutions in electric transportation is the e-rickshaw, also called toto. E-rickshaw has cheaper operation costs, thus have attracted the attention of auto-drivers. E-rickshaws have replaced conventional auto-rickshaws in most villages and some cities. However, they are functioning poorly in the cities due to pressure created by auto unions and some bad politics. E-rickshaws are increasingly becoming more popular among the passengers due to less jerk and comfort and hence have a bright future ahead.

Two-wheelers were the next target for a massive e-vehicle move. E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular as well as affordable to not only the rich but also the middle class. Electric vehicles have a very high initial cost which keeps away most riders preferring a cheaper vehicle. Moreover, low top speed and unavailability of charging places are some of the main reasons why e-bikes are still unpopular among the masses.

Charging Station in Mumbai

Electric cars are the future of our cars. But they are not going to replace motor cars in the streets of India anytime soon. Electric cars are worth several times that of motor cars, hence are unaffordable for most people. But with increased production, the cost can get lowered to a margin slightly above motor cars having similar features. Charging is a major problem for electric cars as charging a car takes a considerable amount of time, and are unreliable for long-distance travelling. The best option available outside India is battery swapping, which is widely gaining popularity. Similar to re-fueling, used car batteries are swapped with charged ones. This saves up a lot of time, saves employment of charging stations, and is also more convenient to use. Improving the top speed remains a priority for the engineers as electric cars have much lower top speed and hence will be unable to compete with highway vehicles. Electric cars are best used within towns and cities where huge traffic slows down vehicular speed.

Electric Bus in Kolkata

Electric buses are a new addition to the fleet of public transportation in India. Electric buses ply largely along the streets of satellite towns and modern developed areas. Electric buses with AC do not charge greater than the AC motor buses, hence can be afforded by all. However, there is a clear difference in operational cost between non-AC electric and motor buses, hence non-AC electric buses are almost absent. Many State Governments are looking to switch their IC engine bus fleet to electrical by 2030 in large polluted cities.

Trams are operational in Kolkata though it a much smaller network. With constant apathy from the West Bengal Government, Kolkata tram is not looking at a bright future as a mode of urban transportation. More likely it will keep operating trams in some heritage routes as a tourist attraction. Mumbai monorail, after a poor start, is performing well as the corridors have reached crowded and busy junctions of the city. Light railway do not have an operational status in India though is at a planning stage in Delhi. Ropeway is hardly used anywhere in India as a public transportation despite having great potential. It is, and will still continue to be used only as a tourist attraction.

Mumbai Monorail

In conclusion, it can be drawn that except for e-rickshaw, most other vehicles will not go a transformation from IC engines to electric anytime soon. But the change will occur gradually in the long term. The Government needs to contribute a lot to bring about this change, like installing charging or battery swapping stations, reducing initial costs through subsidiaries, finding new forms of vehicles like e-buses, trolley buses, trams, and light railways. Only after switching a considerable fleet of public transportation to electric, we can expect a similar gradual switching in the private transportation sector.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Some Solutions to Combat Delhi Smog

Since the past decade, Delhi has been witnessing one of the world’s worst smog ever in October and November. Diwali and farmers are blamed every year for causing such a hazardous situation for the national capital. However, Delhi shies away from changing itself to solve the problem once and for all. It is easy to put the blame game on others, and do nothing. The Delhi Government has taken some steps to minimize air pollution, but it is usually too little too late.

More than the Delhi Government, the current infrastructure and apathy of the citizens towards the environment of Delhi are more responsible for the Great Smog. Many of Delhi’s power plants are located in the suburbs, which are completely closed during the smog period. Construction work that generates too much fly ash is also halted all across Delhi. Usually, the order from the Government comes after Delhi gets completely engulfed in smog. On the other hand, little changes in lifestyle and infrastructure could have worked better for Delhi, which exists in a place in other parts of the country. Some of them are listed below.

1)Use Delhi Metro :
Delhi metro is one of the quickest, cleanest, and easiest modes of transportation in Delhi. The carbon footprints of Delhi Metro is significantly lower than that of all other transportation. Delhi metro has expanded to connect every nook and corner of the national capital. Delhi metro over the years is increasingly becoming more and more eco-friendly by installing solar panels, providing buses and e-rickshaw, and even taxis for last-mile connectivity. Despite all the good efforts, Delhi metro is yet to attract every commuter across the city owing to its expensive ticketing costs. Kolkata metro may be an example of a cheap metro which attracted commuters from all classes due to its cheap rates.

2)Expand Delhi Suburban Railway :
Similar to the Delhi Metro, Delhi has a good network of railway lines towards the suburban cities of Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, and Meerut. However, most of the tracks are used for long-distance trains and freight trains. Delhi has a ring railway which remains completely disused today. Suburban services are unattractive to the citizens, having little or no interchange with major bus or metro stops. Delhi does not have a monorail, tram, or any other form of transit other than the metro. Thus reliant on the usage of roads is heavy, causing huge traffic jams. Local trains of Mumbai are a good example of how suburban railways are used by a large chunk of the city population.

3)Lack of Greenery :
Delhi never used to lack greenery despite being the capital of various dynasties and empires. The Mughals and even the British were fond of gardens and open spaces which serves not only as a place for recreation but also as a source of fresh air and oxygen. Delhi today has grown beyond its borders and has eaten down even the small pockets of greenery that remained. Today only the southern parts of Delhi have some open space, where big, old trees are being felled for fields, locally called maidans, for sports and yoga. Nearby cities like Chandigarh, Jaipur and Agra have significantly less pollution due to large areas of natural vegetation within the city boundaries.

4)Unreliable Bus Service :
Bus service across the city is not that reliable either, prompting most people to use either private cars or bikes for transportation. Private cars and bikes are the biggest sources of air pollution in the city. Chennai has an excellent network of bus service catering 80% of the local transportation. Buses in Delhi are usually off-route, unfriendly, infrequent, and irregular, apart from being expensive, causing most of the population to stay away from using them.

5)Promotion of Green Fireworks :
No steps have been taken by the Government to stop the sale of banned fireworks, which cause too much pollution. Green fireworks, on the other hand, release significantly lower amounts of pollutants, thus can curb the sudden spike in pollution levels just after Diwali. As green fireworks are a bit on the pricier side, most sellers do not sell them to attract more customers. The Government, instead of promoting green fireworks and banning the illegal, is confused about what rules to apply. Banning illegal fireworks and promoting green fireworks comes way too late when most crackers are sold, and the crackers are unclassified whether illegal or not. Assam and the north-eastern states are doing well in this regard strictly allowing only green fireworks to be sold.

We all need to join hands and save our environment. Can you suggest some measures to do so? Tell us in the comment section below.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Chhat Puja’s Environmental Connection

Chhat Puja, the festival honouring worshipping the Sun, and Chhati Maiya, is one of the biggest festivals of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal and Chhattisgarh. Chhat Puja involves offering flowers, whole fruits, incense, and ghee to Lord Surya. The offerings are usually, and traditionally left untouched in water bodies until they rot and decompose. Many environmentalists have claimed that such rituals do more good for maintaining the ecosystem in rivers, lakes and ponds than harm. However, some environmentalists do contradict this view as well.

Other than the states where Chhat puja is widely celebrated, Chhat puja is discouraged by local authorities, citing environmental issues. Kolkata, which has sizable Bihari and UP communities, see conflicts related to rituals involving water bodies. Some alleged that the rituals hamper water quality in the short term for bathing, washing, drinking and other purposes. But the biggest obstruction is made by several environmentalist groups, which sprang up with or without authorization, who are not opposed to idol immersion but raise serious concern over Chhat rituals.

Chhat Puja at Hooghly River in Kolkata

Let us for the time being focus on Kolkata, where Chhat is widely celebrated by a sizeable minority. For a long time, only the river Hooghly was used for Chhat rituals, while local ponds, lakes and other places were avoided. But as the Bihari and UP communities grew with time, there was the need of using ponds and lakes for Chhat puja in places far away from the river. That only caused minor local conflicts, most of which got resolved as soon as they started. However, as the State Government intervened, and provided the worshippers with additional ghats along the river, as well as designated ponds and lakes, the celebrations not only became peaceful but also spread among the locals, creating a sense of unity. This is when some environmentalists crept in and cited environmental issues to stop the festival and hence the unity in diversity.

Let us now look into why many environmentalists claim Chhat Puja is eco-friendly. Chhat puja is performed mostly on the banks of rivers and other water bodies, involving peace, tranquillity, and nature. Chhat puja rituals do not require temple or enclosed space, overcrowding, harmful colours, paints and water-soluble materials. Flowers, fruits, ghee decompose in water, providing nutrition for aquatic life. All the products used in this puja are biodegradable, thus making this puja so eco-friendly.

Rabindra Sarovar, Kolkata, where Chhat Puja is banned since 2018

However, several small factors concern environmentalists. Firstly, though the festival is supposed to be peaceful and quiet, many non-ritual elements have been added to it in recent times. Beating drums and bursting loud crackers are increasingly becoming popular among worshippers. Some protected areas surrounding water bodies, like Rabindra Sarovar Lake and Subhash Lake in Kolkata are home to a large number of migratory birds that arrive from Siberia during the onset of winter. Loud noise hampers their movement and even local birds have started avoiding their habitat in Rabindra Sarovar and Subhash Sarovar. Also, since the Bihari community has grown considerably in recent years, too many flowers, fruits, and ghee will block the sunlight and destroy the rich aquatic plants in these two places. The stagnant nature of such large lakes means that the products thrown into the lakes are likely to persist for a very long time. All these forced the National Green Tribunal to ban the Chhat puja celebration in these two lakes in Kolkata. To compensate for the above two places, worshippers have been allocated more ghats for performing the puja. Still, some miscreants try to create shortcuts and enter the lakes for rituals even though there are many other nearby places.

All these caused a section of the Bengali society to turn against Chhat puja. There are some genuine issues, which most worshippers can bring a change to celebrate the festival together. Voices must be raised against those who are not following law and order in environmental protection. Also, we need to raise our awareness against false allegations and petitions given by some environmentalists, without any justification for their cause. Social media is their best platform for spreading hatred. The number of hate posts, claiming rampant environmental pollution should be cross-checked and verified with reason before any action is taken. Otherwise, the peace and bond that this festival brings will remain a distant reality.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Why Vande Bharat Express can be a Game Changer

Modern transport relies on high-speed, luxury amenities, quality service, and reliability. Hence, modern train services are increasingly becoming high-speed in many developed countries. Looking at them, some developing countries, including India, aspire to have a high-speed train service similar to Shinkansen, Eurostar, or Shanghai Maglev.

Vande Bharat Express, or Train-18 as it was previously known, is an indigenously designed and manufactured semi high-speed train set, which is believed to revolutionise Indian Railways. Vande Bharat express is an EMU like a train set, with faster acceleration and braking. Vande Bharat express can achieve speeds up to 180 kmph during trials but is restricted to 160 kmph for passenger operation, and 130 kmph for the current routes as the existing infrastructure cannot provide support to trains running at more than 130 kmph. The fastest train in India is currently the Gatimaan express, which runs at 160 kmph only for a short stretch between Delhi and Agra, where the tracks are capable of supporting high-speed rail.

Currently, a very small percentage of length of tracks are capable of supporting semi high-speed trains. Even that length do not have OHE modification, fencing, track isolation from roads and paths. Also, more lines are needed to accommodate slow passenger and goods trains running on these tracks. Developing works are underway in Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai lines, and these lines are expected to carry trains at 160 kmph from 2024. Goods trains are also being shifted to dedicated freight corridors in these sections. Also partially laid 3rd and 4th Iines in these routes are expected to be complete very soon. Most bullet trains across the world run over upgraded existing tracks instead of over greenfield elevated corridors. Even major rail networks around the world conducted surveys and proclaimed that India has an excellent broad gauge railway network which is most profitable for running bullet-like trains at semi-high speed.

If Vande Bharat trains become a common feature in Indian tracks, there is hardly the need for under-construction elevated Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Alwar, Delhi-Panipat, Kerala Silver Line railway corridors. High-cost elevated corridors in standard gauge, in parallel to existing tracks, with no connection between them may render the corridors economically unfeasible. Jaipur metro and Noida metro are examples of a failed rapid transport system where the existing highway and roadway systems proved better working than the metro. While elevated corridors are a good option for 3rd and 4th lines, they should integrate with the existing railway system in India to enhance the Indian Railways, and not become solitary lines on their own. Indian Railways has much to develop, and it is on the right track of development. Let us hope that vote bank politics and public outcry for swanky metros do not cost Indian Railways its indigenous projects.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Medical negligence – A Biggest Sin

In this period, deaths and injuries caused by medical negligence is commonly seen. When Medical practitioners or doctors or nurses failed to take care of patients it result in deaths or injuries. So, here in this article we talks about types of medical negligence and how to claim compensation and what are the procedures for complaint. We also discuss about relevant case laws and legislative measures in this article.

Medical negligence is an unpardonable sin” in this world all humans are making mistakes, no one is perfect here. It includes doctors also who are equal to god who are saving our lives. It is also a noble profession. In this era, there are more medical negligence cases is being increased because of unprofessional medical practitioners. In this article we are going to discuss about this issues.

Medical negligence is done by Doctors or Medical practitioners for not providing enough medical advice or enough care which results to breach of their duty such as death or medical injuries. In recent years there are many cases filed in India due to medical negligence. “To err is human” is the common thing which faced by all humans so the doctors are no exception to this.

TYPES OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical error
  • Wrong site surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Errors in anesthesia
  • Labor malpractice
  • Negligent in c- section
  • Prescription errors
  • Negligent in medical advice
  • Pregnancy and birth injuries
  • Dental negligence
  • Negligence in skin treatment

ESSENTIALS:

  1. The doctor must have responsibility to take care of the patients.
  2. The doctor must committed the negligence which means breach of their duty
  3. The patient must suffered damages due to the negligence done by medical practitioner.

                         In the case of Dr. Laxman Balkrishna Joshi V. Dr. Trimbark Babu Godbole & Anr[1], it held that when a patient consult to doctor, the doctor owes certain duties such as duty of care.

EXAMPLES:

  1. Not giving proper medical advice to patients
  2. Giving improper prescription
  3. Leaving an object during surgery such as bondage, scissors, cotton, and so on.

BURDEN OF PROOF:

The burden of proof laid upon on the complainant. It is the essential one of the medical negligence. In the case of Calcutta medical research institute V. Bimalesh chatterjee[2], it was held that onus of proofs against negligence of medical practitioners is completely depend upon complainant only.

The law requires higher standard of evidence to prove the negligence against a doctor. In Kanhaiya kumar singh V. Park medicare & research centre[3], it was held that negligence has to established not to presumed.

PROVISIONS:

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS:

  • ARTICLE 21 – Protection of life and personal liberty

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

  • ARTICLE 32 – Right to constitutional remedies

It has right to go for Supreme court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of rights.

CRIMINAL LAW:

Code of criminal procedure amendment 1973 (C.C.P)

                                        When it is proved that the negligent act is performed with Men Rea (guilty mind) he shall be punished under C.C.P Amendment 1973. The intention to behave in such negligent way shall be proved to make a doctor liable under criminal law.

INDIAN PENAL CODE:

           Section 52Nothing is said to be done or believed in “good faith” which is done or believed without due care and attention.
            Section 80Nothing is an offence which is done by accident or misfortune, and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution.
    Section 81Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person and property.
              Section 88Nothing which is not intended to cause death, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, or be known by the doer to be likely to cause, to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, and who has given a consent, whether express or implied to suffer that harm, or to take the risk of that harm.
      Section 90A Consent is not such a consent as is intended by any section of this code, if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequene of such fear or misconception.
            Section 304ACausing death by negligence- whoever causes the death of any person by doing of any person by doing rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or with both.
     Section 312 to 316Causing Miscarriage
     Section 319 to 322Causing grievous hurt
     Section 336 to 339Act of endangering life or personal safety of others
     Section 345Wrongful confinement

OTHER LAWS:

  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Victims can claim damages for medical negligence against a doctor or Medical Practitioners. Section 69 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 laid down that complaint must be filed within 2 years from the date of an incident.

  • Indian Medical Council Act, 1956

Any person who has incurred damages due to the act of any doctor’s negligence can file a complaint with respective council. In the last few years the Indian Medical Council has started taking severe steps for improvement in standard medical practice and medical ethics. However, the council only has power to punish the doctor and cancel their registration for their negligent behaviour but does not have the power to provide compensation for the victim of such misconduct.

RELEVANT CASE LAWS:

CHANDIGARH CLINICAL LABORATORY V. JAGJEET KAUR[4]

The National consumer disputes redressal commission upheld the findings of the district and state commission and further held that the appellant had “duty of care” to give accurate findings to the patient and the failure of the appellant to take due care shall amount to medical negligence.

    JAGADISH RAM V. STATE OF H.P[5]

It was held that before performing any surgery the chart revealing information about the amount of anesthesia ad allergies of the patient should be mentioned so that an anesthetic can provide sample amount of medicines to the patient. The doctor in above case failed to do so as a result of the overdose of anesthesia the patient died and the doctor was held liable for the same.

    GIAN CHAND V. VINOD KUMAR SHARMA[6]

It was held that shifting of the patient from one ward to another inspite of requirement of instant treatment to be given to the patient resulting in damage to the patient’s health then the doctor or administrator of the hospital shall be held liable under negligence.

    MR.M.RAMESH REDDY V. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH[7]

          The hospital authorities were held to be negligent, inter alia, for not keeping the bathroom clean, which resulted in the fall of an obstetrics patient in the bathroom leading to her death.

    JAGDISH PRASAD SINGH V. DR.A.K. CHATTERJEE[8]

         The state consumer disputes Redressal commission of Jharkhand had observed that the accused had failed to take due care to return the precise findings in the reports. Whether harm came to the patient or not would not be the criteria for case against negligence.

HOW CAN COMPLAINT:

Victims can complaint against doctors when it completes the essentials of medical negligence. A Complaint can be filed in State Medical Council or in State Consumer Courts or in Criminal Courts. If our aim is to achieve monetary compensation then we can approach Consumer Courts. The Consumer Courts can cancel the license of doctors in some cases.

REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS:

  • MEDICAL COUNCIL OF INDIA:

Any aggrieved person can claim damages due to negligence of doctors which cause death or injury with respective council. Here the council have powers to punish the doctors and to cancel their registration. It has no power to compensate the victims for such negligent behaviour.

  • CIVIL LIABILITY:

Victim can file a complaint before a civil court or can complaint before the consumer Forum under consumer protection act,1986 against doctors who committed negligence by this we can claim damages in the form of compensation.

  • CRIMINAL LIABILITY:

We can approach criminal court when only it arises death or serious injury which causes to life long term due to medical negligence under section 304-A of Indian Penal Code, 1860 by claiming relief for the negligence.

Patients completely believe the doctors who save the people lives. Medical practitioners have to deal with them carefully even they attain some mistakes in some cases. Medical tools such as scissors, Knife should be should be handled correctly.If any mistakes occur it suffers the patients life as well as their in long term. Indian Laws have to be reform in more ways.


[1]Dr. Laxman Balkrishna Joshi V. Dr. Trimbark Babu Godbole & Anr , AIR 1969 SC 128

[2]Calcutta Medical Research Institute V. Bimalesh Chatterjee , Appeal No. 388 of 1994

[3]Kanhaiya Kumar Singh V. Park Medicare & Research centre , 1999 CPJ 9

[4] Chandigarh clinical laboratory V. Jagjeet kaur ,30 August 2007

[5]Jagadish Ram V. State of H.P ,AIR 2007

[6]Gian Chand V. Vinod Kumar Sharma , AIR 2007

[7]Mr.M. Ramesh Reddy V. State of Andhra Pradesh ,2003 (1) CLD 81 (AP SCDRC)

[8]Jagadish Prasad singh V. Dr.A.K.Chatterjee , 23 October, 2008

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