March 21, 2023

61% of coal-power units near big cities to miss emission goal – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Sixty-one per cent of the coal-based power plants located near big cities that have to meet their emission standards by December 2022 will miss their deadlines, shows an analysis of three different categories of power plants whose new targets to meet green norms were set by the environment ministry early this year.
The power plants which have to meet the end of 2022 target are those which are located within a 10km radius of the National Capital Region (NCR) or cities with million-plus population. There are 79 such plants in this category (Category A), according to a task force constituted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The environment ministry had in 2015 set new emission norms and fixed deadlines to meet them. The deadlines were, however, extended twice in the past six years.
The task force, disaggregating 596 coal power plants from across the country, had on December 13 released the list, putting 68 plants in Category B (compliance deadline of December, 2023) and 449 in Category C (compliance deadline of December, 2024). The plants which are located within a 10km radius of critically polluted areas or non-attainment cities fall under category B while the rest others (75% of the total) fall in category C. The analysis, done by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), shows that 48 of the 79 power plants (61%) in Category A will miss their emission standards deadline.
“The list provided by the ministry on categories A, B and C is a much-delayed exercise. They have taken so much time to prepare the list. It did not deliberate how plants in Category A will meet the deadline of 2022. Of course, they can pay a penalty and continue operating, but it’s environmentally dangerous. The whole exercise of the ministry and the CPCB is a farce and the majority of plants in each category will miss the extended deadline,” said Nivit Kumar Yadav, programme director, CSE.

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