Other States

Badarpur plant gets a lifeline

After the hullabaloo regarding closure of the Badarpur Thermal Power Station (BTPS) for flouting emission norms, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has finally allowed the plant to continue its operations in the Capital. The decision comes as a stark contrast to the Delhi government’s announcement on December 4, 2015 where it had said that the city’s two thermal power plants – Rajghat and BTPS – would be closed by March.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, a senior official from DPCC said that the NTPC had recently submitted a fresh report on the Badarpur plant which states that its particulate matter emissions have come down below 50 micrograms per cubic metre (mg/nm3), which is the DPCC’s norm for thermal power plants. However, the committee also maintained that it would go for its closure and seek penalty from NTPC if the plant violates emission norms in the future.

The decision was taken in a meeting convened last week (December 30, 2015) under the chairmanship of Special Secretary (Environment). “The operation of the existing unit 210 MW, which is in operation, is subject to the meeting with the standard particulate matter i.e. 50 mg/nm3. In case of exceeding the standards, the BTPS shall not operate it and liable to pay penalty for polluting the environment on ‘Polluter Pay Principle’,” read the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is with The Hindu . It also states that four other units of the plant along with the Rajghat Power House shall remain shut until March 15, 2016.

On the penalty front, the DPCC, however, claimed that it was not authorised to impose it.

“The DPCC can go for closure of the plant, but it cannot penalise it. For that, the committee will have to go to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The green court will order the adequate penalty,” said the official.

Run by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the BTPS has three units of 95 MW and two units of 210 MW each. While four units of the plant have not been in operation for months now, only the fifth unit of 210 MW has been on. Out of its installed capacity of 705 MW, the current generation of the plant is 160 MW. Until last few months, the particulate matter emissions of the operational unit ranged between 52-83 mg/nm3. In October last year, the emission of the unit ranged between 52-61 mg/nm3, whereas, in September it remained around 59-83 mg/nm3.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 4:57:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Badarpur-plant-gets-a-lifeline/article13983506.ece

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