Polluting coal power plants that had received CPCB show cause notices for violating emission norms have got a temporary relief from the power ministry. Power & renewable energy minister R K Singh stated the country needs coal-based thermal power plants for now and he is not in favour of shutting them down immediately.
His statement comes on the back of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde’s remark that all thermal power plants in the country should be shut down to check air pollution. Earlier on 31 January 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had served show-cause notices to 14 thermal power plants for violating emission norms.
These 14 thermal power plants with an installed capacity of about 15,000 MW are distributed across different states – four in Haryana, three in Punjab, two each in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and one in Tamil Nadu. 9 out of these 14 polluting plants are roughly located within 300 kms radius of Delhi, which suffers from severe air pollution due to their emissions.
These thermal plants who failed to address or justify CPCB about their emission limits on sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and mercury face strict actions. These limits were set keeping in mind to create a pollution-free ambient air quality.
However, at the Economic Times Global Summit held recently, R K Singh stated that power plants are a great virtue of the country and are responsible for increasing the standard of our people. So there is no way these plants are going to be close down immediately without a plan. He also added the proposed tariff policy was agreed by all the ministers and will soon be finalised with the cabinet’s approval.
These actions are being implemented taking into account the coal availability, new power purchase agreement aggregation schemes and new connections, which directly points to an increase in the demand of electricity.
Date: 16.03.2020 | Source: The Economic Times