Participants from across the country were at Bodhgaya in Bihar to discuss ecologically sustainable and socio-economically equitable transitions for the electricity sector in the country. Bihar was chosen as the venue for the Vikalp Sangam, since while it is showing a keen interest and potential to embark on a different path to provide electricity to its people, it is also dangerously exploring nuclear and coal projects that would have adverse impacts and be a costly option.
The gathering included more than 70 people including representatives from NAPM, PMANE, CEED, SELCO, Prayas (Energy Group), Kalpavriksh, Greenpeace India and Oxfam India. These energy experts, practitioners and civil society groups engaged with the challenges of the current model of development and explored alternatives.
To go beyond mere technology fixes being pushed as ‘green and clean energy’, the Sangam provided a framework that acknowledged that future electricity scenarios have to take into account limited natural resources, accelerated environmental degradation, growing populations, high energy poverty and climate change. It recommends an urgent paradigm shift based on principles of sustainability, equity and justice.