This refers to “Power ministry seeks diluting air pollution standards for thermal plants” (August 13). It is distressing to learn that the government is not just pushing back the target date but also pushing up the maximum emission permitted for thermal power plants. This shows utter disregard for environmental protection and for our next generations’ health in the face of the high levels of air and water pollution in India. The proposed norms are more liberal than what is in place in major economies of comparable size – the UK, Europe, the USA, China, Japan and possibly run contrary to our international commitments. Added to that is the concern that our monitoring and enforcement standards are grossly inefficient.
Indian regulations actually have to be tougher since our energy demands will grow faster than many others and we have a high population density. Also, India has to consider the location's system load not just a per megawatt (MW) emission level. A single old plant with 120MW capacity and a new one with 2,000MW capacity do not have the same environmental footprint.
P Datta, Kolkata
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