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Fresh prod to NTPC over Badarpur plant flyash disposal

polluting power plant

The Delhi government will soon issue fresh directions to the NTPC-run Badarpur thermal power plant to come up with an action plan for disposing of flyash, a major source of air pollution in summer.

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The plant was among those identified by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for immediate closure last year, as part of measures to control pollution although later a 210 MW unit there was given permission to operate, while four others were shut down.

“Fresh directions seeking action plan over disposal of flyash are likely to be issued by Wednesday. This will come over and above routine reminders. They will be asked to expedite the process of disposal,” a senior government official said.

The report, Comprehensive Study on Air Pollution and Green House Gases (GHGs) in Delhi, by IIT-Kanpur has identified soil, road dust and airborne flyash among the major sources of harmful PM 2.5 and 10 (micro respirable pollutants) pollution in summer.

Green body Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in its analysis of 47 coal-based thermal power plants in the country last year, held the Badarpur plant as one of the “most polluting”. The NTPC, however, responded saying it complies with all the environmental and pollution-related norms.

Cement industry is one of the major buyers of flyash, which is essentially a residue that is released on combustion of coal, especially from thermal power plants.

The official said while scientific disposal of flyash is part of terms and conditions for such plants to operate, authorities often find it difficult to get clients to sell it off as Delhi has few such industries.

“We will ask them to look for alternatives and have some system in place. Neighbouring states such as Uttar Pradesh have a large number of such industries but carrying cost comes into the picture in such cases,” said the official.

According to the IIT report, the major summer sources of PM 2.5 include coal and flyash (26 per cent), soil and road dust (27 per cent) while the same sources are responsible for 37 and 26 per cent volume of PM 10.

“It was observed that in summer the atmosphere looks whitish to grayish which can be attributed to the presence of large amounts of flyash and dust particles in the atmosphere …unless sources contributing to flyash are controlled, one cannot expect significant improvement in air quality,” the report said.


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