Shut down thermal plants in NCR, Delhi tells Centre
Addressing a press conference,Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain said the thermal power plants around Delhi are one of the biggest contributors to pollution. He said despite orders from the Supreme Court, these stations have not been shut yet.
Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday wrote to Union power minister RK Singh, requesting him to shut all the 11 thermal power plants located within a radius of 300 kilometres from the national Capital.
Addressing a press conference, Jain said the thermal power plants around Delhi are one of the biggest contributors to pollution. He said despite orders from the Supreme Court, these stations have not been shut yet.
“Instead, the Central government now intends to renew these power stations and allow them to operate for two more years. This is happening even as the Central government had told the Supreme Court in 2015 that they will lower pollution emission from these plants by 2019,” he said.
The power ministry did not respond to HT’s requests for a comment.
Rai stated that on May 8 this year, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had sent penalty notices to 35 non-compliant electricity generators in 15 coal-fired thermal power stations.
“Surprisingly, these generating stations were found to be non-compliant even with the new emissions norms introduced by the Central government way back in 2015… The CPCB notices are proof that the plants are environmentally hazardous and Delhi pays a huge cost due to these pollution-heavy plants that are stealthily and adversely affecting the lives of Delhi citizens,” read the letter sent by Jain.
He said the Delhi government had already shut down the IP power plant in 2009, the Rajghat power plant in 2015 and the Badarpur power plant in 2018 due to increased environmental concerns, adding Delhi is the only state where there is no thermal power station now.
The Delhi minister said it is expected that the upcoming winters might further aggravate the Covid-19 pandemic if the pollution levels are not kept under control. “Accordingly, it is requested that necessary directions may be issued to shut down the power generation from the plants non-compliant with the guidelines of the ministry of environment and forest dated 7.12.2015 and issue necessary directions to NTPC for decommissioning of Dadri-1 thermal station for containing the expected raise of pollution in Delhi,” Jain stated in his letter.
Asked about the issue of non-payment of salaries to the staff at Hindu Rao and Kasturba hospitals, he reiterated that North MCD should hand over these hospitals to the Delhi Government.
“A formal written proposal has been sent to the Centre to transfer these hospitals to the Delhi Government. MCD had earlier tried transferring the hospitals, but the Centre did not take them. We give funds to the MCD, but we are unaware of the expenditure since they do not get an audit done,” he said.