Haryana's power plants in NCR to be shut if emission norms not met by 2020

The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority said on Friday Haryana's two coal-based power plants in the national capital region will be shut down if these failed to comply with emission norms by next year.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had in 2015 come up with new norms for coal-based power plants to cut down emissions of particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen. These norms are set to come into force by December this year.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment estimates, these norms can help cut particulate matter emission by about 35 per cent, oxides of nitrogen emission by about 70 per cent, and SO2 emission by more than 85 per cent by 2026-27.

The earlier deadline for power stations to adhere to these guidelines was December 2017. But, these norms were not complied with by 440 power plants that were to be retrofitted with modern flue-gas desulfurisation (FGD) units for lowering emission intensity, according to reports.

The Central Electricity Authority then chalked out at detailed plan to retrofit old thermal plants across the country with required equipment to meet new norms with a 2022 deadline. For thermal power plants in NCR, the deadline was 2019.

"Haryana told EPCA that they are working to meet the norms, which they had earlier committed to comply with by 2019. They are working with the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), which runs these plants, to do so. There have been delays," EPCA member Sunita Narain said.

"EPCA has directed Haryana to write to NTPC, asking it to meet the norms by 2020. If not, the power plants will be shut down," she said, adding the pollution regulatory authority will also convene a meeting with the power utility.

In October 2018, Delhi's Badarpur thermal power plant, the city's oldest power station, was shut down to curb air pollution.

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