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Govt to crack green whip on power plants

delhi Updated: Dec 10, 2012 01:51 IST
Darpan Singh

Apart from checking vehicular pollution in Delhi, the state government has planned strict measures to cut emission from power plants in Delhi.

The government has admitted to the need to ensure better fly ash utilisation and checking emissions at coal-based power plants. It has said even gas-based plants, which are supposed to be relatively environment-friendly, require tighter measures.

"Gas scarcity is delaying the conversion of the NTPC's Badarpur plant from coal to gas. We have already shut down the 100 MW coal-based Indraprastha power plant and have no plans to set up new ones in the Capital. We are in the process of shutting down the coal-based plant at Rajghat," said a senior official.

There are two coal-based power plants in Delhi - Badarpur (700 MW) and Rajghat (150 MW). There are two gas-based plants - IP Estate and Bawana - with a total capacity of 330 MW. Apart from the Badarpur plant, the rest three are run by the Delhi government. There are some private plants as well, such as the one in Rithala. "Plus, there are some new ones proposed to be developed but they will all be gas-based," said the official.

A five-year action plan prepared by the Delhi government and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says even gas-based plants require tighter nitrogen oxides (NOx) control.

The plan calls for a review of global standards and their adoption with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee's approval. "Fly ash utilisation should be 100 per cent in footpath tiles and in the construction and repair of public buildings," the plan says.

Anumita Roychowdhury of the CSE said, "Power plants remain a major source of emissions. The stack emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), NOx and particulates from the coal-based plants are prime concerns."

"The Badarpur plant remain a major source of pollution. The Central Pollution Control Board must set tighter standards for SO2 and other air toxicants, including mercury for coal-based thermal power plants. The existing plants should be allowed to run only on gas," she said.