Reprieve likely for six thermal plants | Delhi News -

Reprieve likely for six thermal plants | Delhi News

New Delhi: Six thermal power plants, which are located within a 300-km radius of Delhi and are contributing to the capital’s pollution, are likely to receive relaxations for the next three years, states Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). In an analysis carried out by it, the NGO found the latest categorisation of thermal power plants — based on the Union environment ministry’s recent amendment to the 2015 notification for coal-based thermal power plants (TPPs) — will mean that over 72% of the total capacity of India’s thermal power plants will receive an extension in the deadline to comply with stringent emission norms.
Norms to limit pollutants from TPPs were announced in 2015 and were expected to be adopted by 2017. The deadline for compliance was later extended till 2022. So far, a mere one-third of the plants have taken steps in order to switch to cleaner technology, claims CSE.
“Instead of working to ensure implementation, the ministry has chosen to extend the deadline further, allowing a majority of the plants to pollute for another three to four years. However, extension is not the only matter to be worried about. What makes this a fatally flawed notification is that the deterrence provided in it for non-compliance actually gives the polluters a licence to pollute,” said Sunita Narain, director general at CSE.
Power plants are falling into three categories — Category A, including TPPs in a 10-km radius of NCR or cities having a million-plus population as per the 2011 census; Category B that includes TPPs in a 10-km radius of critically polluted areas and non-attainment cities; and the rest of the TPPs are in Category C. TPPs in Category A have to meet the deadline by 2022, while those in Category B need to meet it by by 2023, and in Category C by 2024.
CSE states flouting the deadlines is also easier because the penalty is less. “While installing the equipment for pollution control will cost between Rs 40-100 lakh/MW, the penalty that thermal power plants will have to pay to keep running without installing this equipment is roughly Rs 5-11 lakh/MW,” said the CSE analysis.
“It is clear that thermal power sector is a major contributor to India’s pollution challenge – from air to water – and this notification nullifies all the work that was being done to improve performance of the sector,” says Nivit Kumar Yadav, programme director, Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE.
For those polluting Delhi, the six TPPs likely to receive extensions largely fall in Punjab. Earlier, they had to comply with the 2019 deadline.

Source link

Subscribe to Infrabuddy Newsletter