Raising environmental and health concerns, citizen groups have decided to oppose a proposal that seeks to convert Unit-6 of the Tata Power Company’s (TPC) Trombay Thermal Power Station into a coal-powered one.
The 500-megawatts unit currently runs on oil, but the TPC has asked for permission to run it on coal and other fuels.
However, residents fear that the coal-fired unit will cause pollution and affect the health of residents of the nearby M ward (east and west), which includes areas such as Govandi and Chembur.
The citizens will submit their protest at a public hearing on January 15, said Rajkumar Sharma, M ward coordinator for Action for good Governance in India (AGNI), a not- for-profit. TPC will present its environmental impact assessment and mitigation measures report in the hearing. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) will conduct the public hearing at RCF Krida Kendra in Chembur.
“Representatives of all 40 ALMs in the ward are expected to attend the meeting and we expect MPCB to hear us out,” Sharma said. “I appeal to people to come forward in large numbers and lodge their protest.”
Last year, local legislator Abu Asim Azmi had also written to the Centre to disallow TPC from modernising the unit. Azmi told HT that his local representatives would present their case at the hearing.
In its assessment report, TPC said imported low sulphur coal would be used for Unit 6, while will help keep to the existing emission limits. TPC’s report also says that the modernisation is required because of the unavailability of natural gas.
“A shortage of low sulphur oil from local refineries and the spiralling prices of imported oil and gas have led to a significant escalation in the cost of power generation from Unit-6,” the report said