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pollution levels are not decreasing at power generation plants in west bengal, india
Aivee Akther Environmental Problems International Environment

Pollution levels are not decreasing at power generation plants in West Bengal, India

Pollution levels are not decreasing at power generation plants in West Bengal, India


There is technology in India to remove pollution in Thermal Power Plants. The Indian Central Government also notified and permitted using that technology about seven years ago.

However, it is not applicable in thermal power plants of West Bengal, India. Due to this the pollution level in power generating stations stays the same.

As a result, there is no positive outcome despite the direction. However, the organization claims it can reduce pollution by up to 86 percent.

Pollution control standards for India’s thermal power plants were first introduced in December 2015 to remove pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and mercury from thermal power plants and to reduce emissions of particulate matter or fine dust.

For the past seven years, authorities have failed to reduce pollution from coal-based thermal power plants in West Bengal, India.

As the state government of west Bengal is dependent on coal-based thermal power plants for power generation, the impact of pollution generated from coal-based thermal power plants on the health of the people of West Bengal is increasing daily.

Forty percent of thermal power plants in the state are yet to take any initiative to control pollution using flue gas desulphurization or FGD technology.

The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air found such information in a report. Furthermore, the remaining 60 percent of the production units could not implement pollution removal technology within the specified time frame.

Pollution from coal-fired thermal power plants confines to the vicinity of the respective power plant, but the pollution can travel long distances through the air. Moreover, this polluted air can become harmful to everyone’s health.

This pollution is very harmful, especially for children, the elderly and pregnant mothers. Of the total 13,686 MW of coal-fired thermal power generation, none of the large grid-connected units use FGD (used to remove gases like sulfur dioxide) or direct sorbent injection (DSI) technology.

A total of 7480 MW units have been bid for FGD installation so far, and a total of 510 MW units have been identified, which will decommission in the next few years. Therefore, these units have been exempted from applying technology to control the removal of sulfur dioxide.

According to the environmental pollution control documents and various government documents regarding applying FGD in all states in India, the technology takes 18 to 36 months to implement.

This means that units 7th and 8th of Central Project Mejia Thermal Power Plant, units 1st and 2nd of Durgapur Steel Plant, and units 1st and 2nd of Raghunathpur, which bid in July 2019, have all exceeded this deadline (18 to 36 months).

Not only this, according to the report, all the detailed systemic changes associated with implementing the technology have also been delayed or stopped, resulting in suffering for the ordinary person.

FGDs expect to be commissioned by December 2024 in units 1st and 6th  of Mejia. In that respect, the entire process is moving at a relatively slow pace, and there is an overall lack of transparency in the whole process,

which may lead to further delays, especially where the deadline for deploying this technology has been extended to December 2026.

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