NEW DELHI: Power minister Satyendar Jain has written to the Centre, requesting it to shut all 11 thermal power plants operating in NCR in view of the deteriorating air quality in the capital.
“In a bid to bring down the pollution and due to environmental concerns, the Delhi government closed the IP power plant in 2009, Rajghat plant in 2015 and Badarpur in 2018. Delhi is the only state where there is no thermal power station,” Jain said at a press meet on Wednesday, adding the biggest contributors to the pollution in Delhi are such plants in NCR.
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Delhi has alternative sources to generate power and there is no lack of it even during peak hours, he said. “So closing these thermal plants won’t lead to reduction of power supply,” the AAP minister said.
In a letter to Union power minister R K Singh, Jain said shutting the 11 plants in UP, Haryana and Punjab would make a difference.
Stubble burning, thermal plants biggest threats: Jain
In 2015, orders were passed to shut these thermal stations within two years, which was later revised to 2019 by the Centre,” Jain said. “The Centre intends to renew these power stations and allow them two more years to function despite informing the Supreme Court in 2015 that by 2019 they will lower the pollution level,” he said.
“Dadri power station, which causes immense pollution in the city despite crossing its threshold of completing 25 years, is being planned to be renewed by the central government. Stubble burning and power plants are the biggest contributors to the harmful quality of air in Delhi,” he said.
In his letter, Jain has said that according to a 2016 report of a study conducted by IIT-Kanpur, there are 13 thermal power plants with a capacity of over 11,000 MW in the radius of 300km of Delhi, which are expected to contribute to secondary particles. Referring to another 2013 report, Jain said that power plants contribute to nearly 80% of sulphates and 50% nitrates to the receptor concentration. He has also mentioned in his letter that Delhi government is making all out efforts to control pollution in Delhi NCR region during the upcoming winter season and every step, such as closing down thermal power plants, counts.

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