Polluting Badarpur power plant to shut down by July 31 next year
Come August 1, 2018, the highly polluting Badarpur power plant will shut shop for good.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority (EPCA) on Friday, in a meeting with Delhi power department and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) officials, decided that the 705 MW thermal power plant will stop operations by July 2018.
A power department official also informed EPCA that the Tughlaqabad sub station, which is commissioned to meet the power demand of south Delhi, will be completed by June 2018.
According to a report by IIT Kanpur, coal-based power plants operating in Delhi, which as of now is only the Badarpur one, are major contributors to the pollution load in Delhi. Coal-based plants alone have contributed 11% of the capital’s PM2.5 load.
During summer months, coal and fly ash contribute 26% of the PM2.5. In winter, secondary particles, including vehicular emissions and power plants, contribute 30% of the PM2.5.
The coal-fired power plant was shut down in November last year after air pollution levels in Delhi went up to alarming levels.
The NTPC officials informed the EPCA meeting on Friday that it has also prepared a remediation plan on managing the flyash, of around 250 lakh tonne, present at the site. The plan, which has been submitted to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, includes planting flowering plants (Ipomoea) to prevent fly ash from getting airborne as done in the Dadri thermal power plant.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal asked officials to ensure that the Bawana gas-based power plant should operate in its full capacity.
“We want Bawana to run on full capacity on gas. You tell us how it can be done,” Bhure Lal told officials at the meeting.
The Delhi power department officials told EPCA that the thermal plant, essentially two of its units of 210MW each, have to function to meet the power needs of south Delhi areas and the peak demand during the summers, which may cross the 6,500MW mark this year.
The city of about 20 million people has been struggling to clean up its air that contains a toxic cocktail of dust, smoke and gases from vehicle and factory exhausts.
The EPCA has already submitted to the Supreme Court a new comprehensive plan to bring down air pollution in the capital. This will aim to bring down the annual average of PM2.5 down by 70% to meet the clean air standard. The plan, which will address all sources of air pollution, will take more stringent actions against combustion sources like vehicles, industry, power plant and waste burning.