Paper Presented in Conference(s)

Mukhopadhyay, K. and M. Mandal (2003)

published the paper entitled ‘Impact Assessment of Biomass Gasification Based Power Plant in Sundarbans: A Case Study’ in the Proceedings of the 2nd Regional Conference on Energy Technology Towards a Clean Environment, held at Phuket, Thailand, 12-14 February.


The objective of the present study is to evaluate the socio economic impact of the biomass gasification based power plant in Chottomollakhali island of Sunderban set up by West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Authority (WBREDA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES)(Govt. of India).Four villages of Chottomollakhali Island are benefited with electricity from the power plant, which serves to 225 consumers (March 2002) comprising of household, commercial and industrial sectors. Methodology of the study is completely based on Cost Benefit Approach and Willingness to pay based on field survey data.The findings of the study indicate that BGBPP has made a very positive impact on the life of the villagers of Chottomollakhali Island. This has led to increased economic activities and more profitable turnover for the commercial consumers and improves quality of life for the household sector. The consumers are now gaining in terms of lesser electric bill expenditure. All of them have showed a willingness to pay for higher price to get 24hrs of power supply. From the cost benefit analysis it has been found that the Internal Rate of Return of the Project is 21% and pay back period is 6 years. But environmental awareness is very poor among the villagers. The whole study clearly shows a change in parameters of domestic lifestyle and business activities due to the power supply by BGBPP.

Bandyopadhyay, J. and B. Mallik (2002)

presented a paper entitled ‘Perception of Floods from an Ecohydrological Viewpoint’ at the International Workshop on Floods in South Asia, held at Dhaka, Bangladesh, 28-30 November.


This paper imparts a fresh new outlook towards the understanding and management of floods as a natural process. Damages incurred from floods have always received the greatest attention of planners and politicians alike. As such, modern water resource engineering singularly sought physical control measures to combat floods. The paper challenges the traditional water resource-engineering paradigm and its reductionist knowledge base on water, establishing the imperative to understand floods from the perspective of ‘Eco-hydrology’. This comprehensive, integrated and holistic view on water highlights the inevitability of the hydrological processes, encouraging human societies to learn and evolve adaptive means towards mitigating floods. The paper furnishes a detailed account on the nature and types of flooding prevalent in South Asia and attempts to analyse and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of disciplinary rigour and reductionist engineering strategies advocated and implemented for the control of floodwaters. The need for a new interdisciplinary paradigm to guide sustainable river basin development and some key elements of an emerging eco-hydrological viewpoint on floods has been identified and addressed in this study.

Perveen, S. and B.Mallik (2003)

presented a paper entitled ‘A Scientific and Economic Examination of the River Link Project’ at the Workshop on Interlinking of Rivers: Doable and Desirable? Held at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, 23rd May.


Projected as an ambitious engineering response in the development of water resources, the ‘Inter-basin transfer’ proposal is all set to redraw the country’s geography. Very little objectively is yet known of the project in the public domain and scientifically it has not been able to win much credence. In spite of this, the project seems to have gained considerable bureaucratic support and political mileage. The paper reviews the total costs, including the inherent environmental costs of the project. It describes how a tunnel focus on projected benefits whilst neglecting the actual costs could play havoc with the social, economic and ecological dimensions. The study identifies that in the complete absence of any serious scientific and cost-benefit study of the river-link project, it could have the possibility of making the proposal ecologically destructive and economically perilous. The present paper is also an exercise to question the scientific credibility of the proposed project on such a macro scale when micro scale conservation methods alongwith efficient and wise use of local water harvesting methods have proved to be a success in many parts of the country.

Shylajan, C. S. (2003)

presented a project report on ‘Coastal Mangrove Ecosystem and Fishermen’s Welfare: A Study of Mangrove-Fishery Linkages in Sundarban Islands in India’at the First School on Ecological Economics at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, 27 February.


Coastal mangrove ecosystem has significant ecological functions. It plays a vital role in the coastal environment as a cyclone protection belt, nutrient/sediment trapping, erosion control and as breeding grounds and nursery habitats for on-site and off-shore fisheries. Mangroves supply a variety of products to the local population. However, mangrove ecosystems are extensively depleted in South Asian countries especially in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India etc. Depletion of mangrove ecosystem and resultant loss in fish nurseries and breeding grounds will have a significant impact on off-shore fisheries. However, the environmental goods and services that they provide are not being properly valued either due to market failure or other reasons. This is one of the major reasons of rapid depletion of coastal mangrove ecosystem or conversion to other land uses which have negative environmental impacts. This project report presentation was part of winter school programme on ecological and environmental economics (EEE) organised by the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, Sweden and ICTP, Italy. The report emphasises need for economic valuation of local user benefits of mangrove ecosystem as a breeding ground and nursery habitat of fisheries. The report shows the importance of conducting such an empirical study for the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Bandyopadhyay, J. And S. Perveen (2002)

Emergence of and Future Steps for Sustainable Mountain Development in the Global Environmental Agenda, presented at an ‘International Conference on Mountains and Environment: Ten years after Rio’, Aosta, Italy, November 2002.


In the last thirty years or so, the perception of mountains has evolved from being rugged, indestructible, and remote to regions central to rapid changes due to globalisation. The paper charts the progress in the context of development in global mountains, prior to Rio Summit until the recently concluded World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) at Johannesburg. With the inclusion of a separate chapter on mountains in Agenda 21, Rio proved significant in starting a crusade to register mountains on global minds. With the humble beginning made with the formation of World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) until the declaration of year 2002 as the ‘International Year of the Mountains’ (IYM), we have achieved much, however, the shortcomings do not go unnoticed. The paper concludes by recommending the practical challenges facing the ‘operationalisation’ of sustainable development policies at the ground level and concludes by proposing various tasks on global mountains post IYM period.

Bandyopadhyay, J. And S. Perveen (2002)

Advent of Chapter 13 in Agenda 21 and the Future Directions of the Global Campaign for Sustainable Mountain Development, paper presented at the National Workshop on Sustainable Mountain Development’, G.B.Pant Institute for Himalayan Environment and Development, Uttaranchal, December 2002.


With the increase in the pace of globalisation in the plains, social, environmental and cultural transformations are taking place with rapid strides. In view of the great environmental, aesthetic and spiritual contribution made by the mountains, concerns for the effective changes in the mountain environments has been expressed by many in various forms and at various times. It was the collective effort of a handful of mountain professionals and academicians that a separate chapter on mountains was included in Agenda 21 at Rio Earth Summit, 1992. The paper examines the developments that have taken place to project mountains in the global discussions, starting from the early 1970s till the recently concluded World Summit on Sustainable Development. The delicate ecology and socio-economy of these complex and fragile ecosystems are largely being threatened to accommodate unjustifiable changes and the author has recommended some measures for advancing the crusade for sustainable development in such a vulnerable ecosystem as this.

Bandyopadhyay, J. (2002)

Need for a New Policy or a New Paradigm: Some Reflections on the National Water Policy 2002, paper prepared for IWMI Workshop on ‘Policy Futures for Water Resources Management in India: From Prescription and Impact Assessment to Strategic Analysis’, Hyderabad (AP),October 2002


Post independence, the process of human interventions in the natural hydrological cycle has accelerated due to the burgeoning population and the expanding economy. Going by the official estimates, the projected total annual requirements of water in India, would come close to the estimated total annual utilisable water resources of the country by the middle of the next century. The paper examines the recent most official policy document for water resource development in India, the ‘National Water Policy 2002’ to assess the extent to which the policy reflects a shift from the old reductionist paradigm of water, to the evolving interdisciplinary paradigm of water resource development. The author identifies some characteristic elements, indicative of the emerging interdisciplinary model and probes the efficacy of the new policy document in addressing or internalising the elements of same, fast escalating in response to the many weaknesses and gaps evident in the disciplinary approach.

Ghosh N and Bandyopadhyay J (2002)

Valuation of mountain and highland waters: an instrument for the promotion of hydro-solidarity, paper presented in International Conference of Mountains and Waters organised by Societe d'Economie Alpestre de la Haute-Savoie held at Megeve, France, 5 and 6 September 2002.


The conflict between the highland and the plains with the sharing of the highland waters, of late, has assumed an enhanced importance in the context of ecological disputes. While, policy makers and academicians have suggested several methods to resolve the conflict, the entry point in this analysis lies with the “beneficiaries pay” principle. Keeping with this principle, the paper initiates with the idea that one of the ways for resolving the water-related conflict between the highlands and the plains is to make the beneficiary plain pay adequately for the use of the highland water. This is where the most important question arises: what should be the amount of the payment? There have been attempts to answer this question in this analysis. The paper tries to obtain the optimal amount that the plain should pay for the attainment of social optimality. In this context, the concept of the shadow value becomes important. With static and dynamic analyses, it has been shown that the shadow value, which reflects the scarcity value of water as well, should be the amount that the plain should be paying the mountain economy, so that the total societal benefits are maximised.

Mukhopadhyay K (2002),

An Input-Output Study of the Relationship between Information Sector, Energy Use &Co2 Emission in the Indian Economy during 1973-74 To 1996-97, Paper presented at the 14th International Conference on Input-Output Technique to be held at University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada Oct 10-15, 2002


Information technology is gradually gaining its importance since last decade. Government of India considers IT as an agent of transformation of every facet of human life, which will bring about knowledge based society in the 21st century. But the relationship between information and energy needs to be studied as the substitution of information for energy is a dominant phenomenon in economic activities of the developed countries like US is to be examined in the context of India. The present paper tries to estimate the relationship between information and energy during 1973-74 to 1996-97 for India. More specifically it tries to assess whether the substitution of information and energy is possible for India or not. The paper also provides further evidence on Maxwells’demon for a less developed country like India. Moreover, it also tries to justify the fact that less energy activities leads to less co2 emission the results indicate that the Indian economy is walking on a path of gradual informatization process but not up to the extent like US.

Mukhopadhyay K and Forsell O (2002)

An empirical investigation of air pollution from fossil fuel combustion and its impact on health in India during 1973-74 to 1996-97, Paper presented at the 14th International Conference on Input-Output Technique held at University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada Oct 10-15, 2002


The paper estimates the trend of CO2 SO2 and NOX between the periods 1973-74,1983-84,1991-92 and 1996-97 Input-output Structural Decomposition Analysis approach is used to find out their sources of changes. We also estimate the emissions of CO2 SO2 and NOX for the year 2001-2 and 2006-7. A link between emission of pollutants and their impact on human health is also analysed. CO2 emission in India has increased from 191 mt of CO2 in 1973-74 to 767 mt of CO2 in 1996-97. The estimated SO2 emission has also rose from 9.49 mt of SO2 to 20.47 mt of SO2. In the same manner the nox has also increased from 5.69 to 21.67 mt of nox. The study categorizes the changes in the amount of CO2, SO2 and nox emissions into four factors: the pollution intensity, the rate of technical coefficient, changes in the volume of final demand structure and changes in the composition of final demand. The main factors for these changes were the volume of final demand and changes in rate of technical coefficient. The paper also reports the results from the selected surveys and statistical data from Health Statistics of India which reveal that respiratory infections like asthma and bronchitis and other respiratory diseases gradually increased due to the ntensive effect of S02, Nox and CO2.The paper has also suggested some policies.

Mukhopadhyay K (2002)

An Empirical Study Of The Sources Of Air Pollution From Fossil Fuel Combustion In India, Paper presented in Second World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists organized by University of California, Berkeley held at Monterey, California, 24-27 June 2002


The CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion have been identified as the single most significant source of GHG emissions into the atmosphere. The present paper concentrates on the CO2 SO2 and NOX emission from fossil fuel combustion only. It estimates the trend of CO2 SO2 and NOX between the periods 1973-74, 1983-84,1991-92 and 1996-97. Input-output Structural Decomposition Analysis approach is used to find out their sources of changes. Five Sources which have been identified as responsible for changes in emissions are: the rate of added value, the intensity of pollution, the rate of technical coefficient, changes in final demand structure and joint effects. The main factors for these increases are the rate of added value and changes in final demand structure. On the other hand a main reducing factor is the changes in intensity. It also estimates the emissions of CO2 SO2 and NOX for the year 2001-2 and 2006-7. The paper also suggests some policies.

Mukhopadhyay K and Mandal M (2002)

Impact Assessment of Biomass Gasification Based Power Plant: A case Study from Indian Sunderbans, Paper presented in the Workshop on Energy Efficient And Environment Friendly Technologies For Rural development, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute Calcutta, September 20-22, 2002.


The importance of the increased use of renewable energy to meet the increasing energy demand in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner was recognized in the early seventies. One of the major goals of the ninth and tenth five-year plan is strengthening of infrastructure (energy, transport, communication, irrigation) in order to support the growth process on a sustainable basis. Threat from Green House Gasses (GHG) also has caused worldwide concern. In India electric power generation is the largest source of GHG emissions. It accounts for 48% of carbon emitted. These concerns point towards more rational energy use strategies. The renewable and recycling process makes biomass possible to generate power without adding to air emissions. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the socio economic impact of the bio mass gasification based power plant (BGBPP) in Chhoto Mollakhali island of Sunderban set up by West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Board under the auspices of the Ministry of Non Convention Energy Sources (MNES), Govt. of India. Four villages of Chhotto Mollakhali Island are benefited with electricity from the power plant, which serves to eight hundred consumers (March 2002) comprising of household, commercial and industrial sectors. The result clearly shows a change in the parameters of domestic life style and business activities due to power supply by BGBPP. In addition the environmental impact of this BGBPP was also estimated in terms of emitted NOx and CO2. It has been found that it has very less environmental impact.