Haryana’s 4 thermal plants told to pay for defying emission norms
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed four thermal power plants of Haryana to pay environmental compensation of ₹18 lakh per month for each of their units that failed to comply with the prescribed emission norms.
These plants have been identified as Indira Gandhi Thermal Power Plant (units 1, 2 and 3) in Jhardli of Jhajjar district, Rajiv Gandhi Thermal Power Project (units 1 and 2) in Khedar of Hisar, Panipat Thermal Power Plant (units 6, 7 and 8) in Assan of Panipat district and Deen Bandhu Chhotu Ram Thermal Power Station (units 1 and 2) in Pansra of Yamunanagar district.
As per the orders, the CPCB has issued the directions considering the environmental concerns under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The plants have been told to pay the amount by June 5.
The order mentioned that the environment, forest and climate change ministry had amended the emission ceiling for particulate matter and notified the new limits for sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and mercury, and water consumption limit for coal/lignite-based thermal power plants. As per the notification of December 7, 2015, thermal plants are required to achieve the notified limit within two years from the date of notification.
These power plants, that were to be retrofitted with modern flue-gas desulfurisation (FGD) units which cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, did not comply with the norms.
A study by IIT Kanpur on air pollution and green house gases in Delhi in January 2016 had indicated that 13 thermal power plants with the capacity of over 11,000 MW in the 300-km radius of Delhi were expected to contribute to secondary particulate pollutants, and considering the impact of coal-based power plants on ambient air quality in Delhi-NCR and the timelines given by the ministry of power for thermal plants within the specific limits were revised on December 31, 2019.
These plants were told to take immediate measures like installation of low NOx burners and achieve progressive reduction to comply with the revised emission limit by 2019.
Earlier, show-cause notices had been issued to the said power plants for not adhering to the environmental norms. As per the orders, the compliance of the directions will be reviewed by the CPCB periodically and further directions will be issued.
“Haryana Power Generation Cooperation Limited has been told to ensure the compliance of the directions, failing which action as deemed fit will be taken in accordance with the provision of the Environment (Protection) Act,” the order read.
Haryana Power General Corporation managing director Mohammed Shayin said, “We will file an appeal against the order as we were unable to stick to the norms due to the Covid-19 issue.”
Haryana State Pollution Control Board member secretary S Naryanan said, “With reference to the latest CPCB directions, we are taking up the matter with the units concerned for immediate compliance.”