Badarpur coal-based power plant may reopen from mid-March

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Air pollution is under control in the national capital and if the same condition continues, the coal-based Badarpur power plant may resume power generation from March 15, the Supreme Court-appointed panel EPCA said on Monday.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) was informed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that effluents in Delhi’s air were under control and out of “severe” category, an EPCA official said.

“From the onset of winters, which is October 15 onwards, the plant has remained closed. But since due to several reasons, including wind speed, if the pollution remains under control, we may think of reopening it,” EPCA Chairperson Bhure Lal told IANS.

He added that reopening the plant would also depend on certain conditions, such as assurance from the coal-based thermal power plant authorities that they would monitor and control the effluents and keep sprinkling water on the dump.

According to a 2015 study based on nearly 60 environmental and energy parameters, the Badarpur power plant was the poorest performing on them all.

The study said that while the plant contributed a meagre share to Delhi’s power needs, about 7.9 per cent (during April-October 2015), it contributed around 80-90 per cent of the particulate matters and other major pollutants like sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

The EPCA is authorised to enforce the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) based on the air quality, which according to the CPCB is now not “severe”.

There are different categories under the GRAP and each category enforces some restrictions in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The enforcement efforts include temporary curbs like odd-even traffic scheme, barring diesel generator sets and shutdown of brick kilns, among others.