Indian Coal-fired plants killing thousands early
Emissions from coal-fired plants across the country may have resulted in thousands of premature deaths and condemned millions more to various respiratory ailments every year, says a study by the groups Conservation Action Trust (CAT), Urban Emissions and Greenpeace.
A first-of-its-kind study has found that exposure to particulate matter or PM10, released from 111 coal plants between 2011 and 2012, has resulted in an estimated 80,000 to 1,15,000 premature deaths and 20.9 million asthma cases. The emissions are also to blame for symptoms of respiratory illness in 625 million and chest discomfort in another 8.4 million people.
The premature deaths include those from ailments such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, and cancers of trachea, bronchitis, and lung. Particulate matter comprises fine particles and once inhaled, they lodge deep in the human lungs and are, hence, dangerous.
"Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reports for coal plants always state that there will be no health impact on those living around the plant since the project proponent will install the latest pollution control equipments," said Debi Goenka, founder, CAT. "We hope the Union environment ministry takes notes of the health impacts and tightens norms."
The study 'Coal based thermal power plants in India - An assessment of atmospheric emissions, particulate pollution and health impacts' also found that morbidity and health problems cost both citizens and the government an estimated US$ 3.2 billion to 4.6 billion (Rs16,000 crore - Rs23,000 crore) during the same period.
The study found that Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Indo-Gangetic plain suffered the most.
With coal-fed power plants contributing 66% of India's current electricity and plans to add more, researchers said health impacts will increase significantly if Indian policymakers do not act.
"Indian emission standards ilag behind those in the major developed and developing countries," said Sarath Guttikunda, director, UrbanEmissions.info.
Opposition Congress MLAs walked out of the Haryana assembly on the opening day of the monsoon session, demanding a debate on the “deteriorating law and order” in the state. Eighteen Congress legislators had moved an adjournment motion, however, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said it had been clubbed with the calling attention notice on the same issue and said the debate would be held at length on the issue.
Amid controversy over the ownership of 'Idgah Maidan' in the heart of the city, the Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the land belongs to the Revenue Department and it will decide on its usage. Seeking to end the controversy over Wakf Board claiming right over the 'Idgah Maidan' at Chamarajpet, the Minister said the department will decide how it should be used.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was sent to central Mumbai's Arthur Road jail on Monday after the special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court remanded him in judicial custody till August 22. The enforcement directorate arrested Raut late in the night on July 31 in connection with the money laundering case involving the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon.
Bengaluru's best and brightest have been asked their plans for the city should they be elected a corporator or mayor in the forthcoming Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) civic body polls. Karnataka will vote for a new government next year and the civic body election is widely seen as a key precursor to the 2023 exercise. A former Bengaluru police commissioner, the vice president of the state's Aam Aadmi Party unit and Bhaskar Rao received several responses. Some felt Bengaluru had more to worry about than traffic and potholes.
Six police officers were placed under suspension on Monday for alleged dereliction of duty in connection with a case involving Noida-based politician Shrikant Tyagi, who is accused of assaulting and abusing a woman resident at a housing society in Noida. Read 'Ashamed to say it's our govt': BJP MP video on Noida chaos tweeted by Congress Earlier in the day, a ₹25,000 reward was announced for information leading toTyagis arrest.