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India’s14 power plants get notices for not complying with environment norms

   March 22, 2020        561        PTI

New Delhi– As many as India’s 14 power plants with total power generation capacity of 13,830 mega watt (MW) have been issued show cause notices by the central pollution control board (CPCB) for not complying with environment norms, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. The CPCB has also issued directions to another four power plants with total generation capacity of 1,495 MW for not obliging to environmental provisions, Minister of Power R K Singh said while replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

While 14 power plants having total generation capacity of 13,830 MW were issued show cause notices by the CPCB on January 31, 2020, another 11 units of four power plants with total generation capacity of 1,495 MW were issued directions on February 26, 2020, he said.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) notified new environmental norms for particulate matter, sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), water consumption and mercury for thermal power plants (TPPs) on December 7 December 2015, the minister said.

In order to ensure uninterrupted power supply position in the country, he said, a phased implementation plan to be rolled out by 2022 for installation of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) in plants for a capacity of 1,61,402 MW and upgradation of electrostatic precipitator in plants for a capacity of 64,525 MW was prepared by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in consultation with the stakeholders and this plan was submitted to MoEF&CC on October 13, 2017.

Accordingly, on the directions of MoEF&CC, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) issued directions under section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to TPPs. CPCB has informed that those TPPs which fail to comply with new emission norms by the specified timelines are considered to be non-complying and are liable for penal action including closure of the plant and imposition of environmental compensation, Singh said.

The CEA has also sent letters to thermal power stations for strict compliance of existing Environment norms within the stipulated time given by MoEF&CC/CPCB.

Singh said, “So far, CPCB has issued show cause notice on 31.01.2020 under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to 31 units of 14 TPPs as to why non-complying units of the plant should not be closed and environmental compensation be imposed for continuing non-compliance of CPCB directions. CPCB has also issued directions/show cause notice for closure under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 on 26.02.2020 to 11 units of 4 TPPs.”

The list of those served with show cause notices included Vizag Hinduja TPP, HNPCL, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah TPP, APPDCL, SPSR Nellore, Rajiv Gandhi TPP, HPGCL, Hisar, Haryana, National Capital Thermal Power Station, NTPC Dadri, Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P, Harduaganj Thermal Power Station, UPRVUNL, Aligarh in U P, among others.

The four plants issued directions are Guru Gobind Singh TPS, PSPCL, Ropar, Punjab, Chandrapura TPS, DVC, Chandrapura, Jharkhand, Kothagudem TPS (Stage I-IV), TSGENCO, Kothagudem, Telangana and Harduaganj Thermal Power Station, UPRVUNL, Aligarh, U.P.