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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

India's Elections - Mammoth Democracy's Mammoth Impact on Environment

Now that the dust has been settled and the new government in India is firmly in its place, I was wondering on the environment impact of these elections.

Just did some back of the envelope calculations which I found fascinating enough to share with you all.

Total constituencies in which elections were held  are 543 . There were around 34 national and regional parties which contested the elections. Around 8500 candidates including the independents contested these elections.

If there were only 10 vehicles employed / party  / constituency , it comes to 10 X 34 X 543 = 184,620 Vehicles. Multiply it by average running of 250 Kms./day for the total period of around 90 days , it comes to  184,620 X 250 X 90 = 4,153,950,000 Kms. Divide it by mileage of around 10 Kms / litre of fuel , it comes to 415,395,000 litres of fuel (Imaging the environment impact of so much fuel consumption in 90 days) . Multiply it by cost of fuel which is around 1.5 $ / litre and it comes to close to a 623 Million USD only on fuel cost.

And this is for candidates only. Top it up with the expenditure of various state governments  and central government on moving  the security forces across the length and breadth of the country, one will get a far higher number. Add the fuel spent in gathering the people for various rallies and fuel consumption by people when they came for voting, the number is going to increase significantly.

Just to satiate your curiosity , as per a report from center for media studies , an Indian Think Tank Organization , the total election expenditure in 2014 elections is expected to the tune of USD 5 Billion , making it the 2nd costliest election preceded only by US Presidential election of 2012 which costed around 7 Billion USD.

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