Although the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has not conducted any specific assessment of pollution caused by thermal power plants around their sites, there is some good news for environmentalists, as CPCB has asked 20 of them to comply with environment standards, Lok Sabha was informed today.
Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said CPCB issued directions to the power plants on the basis of the findings of inspections carried out by its Environmental Surveillance Squad (ESS).
“Directions under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 have been issued to 14 power plants, while under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution Act), 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, concerned State Pollution Control Boards were asked to direct six power plants to comply with the environmental standards,” Javadekar said.
According to PTI, the power plants which have been issued directions include Paras and Koradi thermal power stations in Maharashtra; Patratu, Tenughat, and Chandrapura power plants in Jharkhand; Kutch Lignite in Gujarat; Durgapur and Kolaghat in West Bengal; Rayalseema power plant in Andhra Pradesh, and Chhabra thermal power station in Baran district of Rajasthan.
The thermal power plants also include the ones at Korba (East), Korba (NTPC), Korba (West), Amarkantak (Lanco Power) in Chhattisgarh; Talcher (NTPC) in Odisha, Parichha, Anpara and Obra power stations in Uttar Pradesh, as well as Muzaffarpur and Kahalgaon Super Thermal (NTPC) power plants in Bihar.
Javadekar said the directions were in different phases of compliance. He also informed the Lower House about steps taken by the Central government to contain pollution from the power sector.
Among them is stricter emission limit for particulate matter at 50 mg per Nm3 (Normal Cubic Metre) against the notified limit of 150 mg/ Nm3 for new power plants to be located in critically polluted area, urban area and ecologically sensitive area.