Air quality better, Badarpur plant to reopen
The Environment Pollution Control Authority(EPCA) has allowed the Badarpur power plant to reopen from March 15 until next winter, but with certain conditions. The SC-mandated EPCA directed the power department to submit a quarterly schedule with key milestones for completion of the 400KV Tughlaqabad sub-station. This is because secretary power, Varsha Joshi, had submitted earlier that the Badarpur plant could not be closed until the Tughlaqabad station was up and running.
On Monday, Joshi informed EPCA that the tender deadline for the Tughlaqabad project was June 2018. Land for the project was taken over in July 2016. EPCA also asked the power secretary to ask NTPC to submit a plan for utilisation of fly ash in the 800-acre flyash pond next to the Badarpur power plant. “But, ultimately, the Badarpur power plant should be closed down or converted to natural gas,” said an EPCA member. Joshi assured EPCA that the thermal plant would be closed or converted to gas in a couple of years.
EPCA members recommended that DPCCconduct a “fugitive emissions” study in and around the Badarpur power plant and flyash dump to ascertain the pollution caused by it. DPCC officials submitted that they don’t have the resources or capacity to carry out such studies. It decided that DPCC will commission the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute to conduct PM10 (coarse pollution particles) monitoring fortnightly around flyash dump and 500m downhill.
DPCC officials informed EPCA they would issue a public notice soon on burning of waste and leaves because they had started receiving complaints already. It was also decided that restriction on use of diesel generator sets would be lifted on Tuesday as air quality had improved.