3.5MW power plant lying in abandonment | delhi | Hindustan Times
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3.5MW power plant lying in abandonment

The Rs 10-crore facility at Thyagaraj Stadium is yet to get green-building certification.

delhi Updated: Mar 13, 2011 23:29 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

It was supposed to be the flag-bearer of how “green” the Commonwealth Games were. But almost a year after being inaugurated, the environment-friendly features of the Thyagaraj Stadium haven’t yielded the benefits originally intended.

It has still not received the crucial “green building” certification that would enable the Delhi government to earn carbon credits. And its 3.5 MW power plant that made the stadium self-sufficient in its power needs and was supposed to power south Delhi’s neighbourhoods, has been lying in disuse.

The Public Works Depart-ment (PWD) applied for the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), the globally recognised green-building certification system, and aimed for the highest rating — platinum — realising that the stadium was packed with “green” features, although the original application was for a gold rating.

“Nothing has happened on that front yet. We are still waiting,” said Rakesh Mishra, engineer-in-chief of PWD.

Designed by Australian firm Peddle Thorp and built at R300 crore, this netball stadium near INA in south Delhi has been constructed using fly-ash bricks; it uses recycled water and has an elaborate rainwater harvesting system. It has specialised double-glazed glasses that allow more sunlight but less heat; brick walls that have cavity to act as acoustic and thermal barriers — all to reduce the need for artificial air-conditioning.

Instead of earning carbon credits for the government, the stadium is now preparing for the Delhi education department whose offices will be based out of this stadium complex.

What is more intriguing is that the government has yet to start operating the 3.5 MW gas-based power turbine, which was supposed to be linked to the grid to light up a few neighbourhoods.

According to sources, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), which is examining the proposal from the government, has objected to the inordinately steep unit-cost of the power generated by this turbine.

As a result, the R19-crore turbine, which was built in the US and assembled in Switzerland, is lying idle. Officials at Indraprastha Gas Limited, which supplied natural gas to this turbine, said the company has not supplied any significant amount of gas to Thyagaraj Stadium since the Games.

“We plan to use the turbine sometimes as power backup for the education department offices,” Mishra said. “We are in touch with the DERC to get the clearance for linking the power to the grid.”

The stadium with its green features was the only venue built by the Delhi government. Its novel “green” features made it the first eco-friendly stadium in the country.