R. Krishna reports from BMC office where Greenpeace volunteer held a protest against growing energy consumption
Though their methods seem unconventional – it includes taking tiny motor boats in front of full-blown liners – Greenpeace has met with success on more than one ocassion. On Wednesday, outside the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, however, the protests produced more hype than results. Or atleast it seems so till now.
The intention, though, was laudable. Greenpeace wants the government to stem the energy consumption in Mumbai. High energy consumption means higher consumption of fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc), which, in turn, results in release of greenhouse gases – largely responsible for the recent climatic changes – into the atmosphere.
The action began when ten to fifteen Greenpeace volunteers, banners in their hands, approached the BMC office. While one team took to the lane outside, four volunteers tried entering the building to unfurl a banner on the balcony. The police, of course, arrested the four, but let them off with a warning. Meanwhile the team outside too was evicted by the police, and some more volunteers taken in for questioning. The volunteers ultimately submitted a memorandum to the BMC commissioner and all’s well that ends well.
However, between the protests and the arrests, the point seemed lost. If the aim was to speak to, or submit a memorandum, the volunteers could well have taken an appointment with the BMC commissioner (who incidentally wasn’t in office) or any other authority. And thanks to the location, apart from a few people, the banners didn’t attract much attention from the junta (people use the subway to cross the road outside the BMC building). Saumya Tripathy, Media Officer, Greenpeace, however, explained that Greenpeace normally takes such an approach to drive home the urgency of the issue on hand.
For now, the volunteers have given one week’s time to the BMC for responding to their memorandum. But even the volunteers know the battle is a long one. Let’s hope that Greenpeace wins!
Want to reduce your energy consumption? Learn how at www.greenpeace.org/india/switch