Tata torrent and traffic jams

Tata torrent and traffic jams
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First Published: Sun, Jan 13 2008. 11 04 PM IST

Updated: Sun, Jan 13 2008. 11 04 PM IST
The Indians are such spoil sports. First the cricket, now the Nano... The manufacturer, Tata, hopes to sell a million a year. ...Western environmentalists are rightly outraged. Hasn’t Tata heard of the greenhouse effect? That’s the problem with the developing world: too much developing. Don’t the Indians realize that there’s only so much car exhaust the atmosphere can take? Well, there is, and we Australians are planning to generate it. Especially in Sydney, world leader in woeful public transport, well on its way to being the world’s most car-dependent city. Australians generally are buying cars in record numbers... Big-engined, luxury cars are selling like never before... All those cars need lots of fresh air to pollute. Which there won’t be if the Indians have got at it first. Just like the Indians to spring this on us. It’s just not cricket.
A sign of things to come
Tata says (environmentalists’) concerns are exaggerated. It claims the People’s Car will meet emissions standards and points out that it would account for a very small percentage of the number of cars entering the roads. In any case, the right kind of approach is to be found in the agreement reached at last month’s UN climate summit, under which developed nations are to be encouraged to transfer environmentally friendly technology to developing nations... This should be extended to...affordable cleaner-car technology, such as hybrid petrol-battery-powered engines...
The People’s Car is a sign of things to come. Given that India and China must continue on high-growth paths to meet the legitimate aspirations of their people..., scientific and technological co-operation offers the best hope of combating global warming.
Taking Britain by storm
Environmental activists believe that the Tata Nano will soon be known as “the car that ate India”... Indeed, without a radical shake-up in the local pricing of congestion and the global pricing of carbon, this is a sample of what business as usual is going to look like for the next couple of decades: as wealth grows in India and China, so, too, will carbon emissions. But these problems can’t be laid at the feet of Tata Motors. Policymakers will have to take the tough choices themselves... Higher fuel prices would promote efficiency... There is much to celebrate about this bold successor to the Ford Model-T... This is an impressive realization of a corporate vision... (I)t looks as though it’s a dream to park this car. (W)orth thinking about. Tata Motors is in pole position to buy Land Rover and Jaguar. Why bother?...Surely the Nano is the car to take Britain by storm.
A right to repeat their mistakes
Newspapers (in Germany) are hailing the arrival of the Tata Nano...with headlines like, “When will we be able to buy the cheap car?” They (write) that while (it) may not be technically impressive now, Tata works closely with European heavy-hitters like Bosch and Daimler and will likely become a force to reckon with...
The left-leaning Die Tageszeitung (also) notes that the Nano could worsen congestion... (But) the paper dismisses criticism of the car’s carbon dioxide emissions and chaotic traffic in the country’s megacities as “inappropriate”, at least as long as an unchecked car culture continues...in industrialized nations. Besides, the emissions of the...car are markedly lower than those of the average Volkswagen... “One can regret the fact that the automobile is now seen worldwide as a status symbol and the embodiment of freedom and mobility, but the Indians no doubt have the right to repeat our mistakes.”
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First Published: Sun, Jan 13 2008. 11 04 PM IST