Coal-based power is one of the most resource-intensive and destructive industries. On December 7, 2015, the (MoEFCC) Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change approved stricter sustainability standards for coal-fired thermal power plants (TPPs) under the Environment Protection Act of 1986.
This was a long-overdue step. The initial deadline to satisfy the standards was in 2017, however, the Supreme Court prolonged it to 2022 in 2017. Tragically, it was not the end of the Story. In the meanwhile, the criteria have been constantly tweaked: Under industrial pressure, the water and nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards were weakened.
Furthermore, the sector attempted to postpone the deployment of SO 2 control technology, claiming that work had been impeded by the Covid-19 epidemic and that the industry didn't like to acquire apparatus from China.
There are three types of thermal power plants: TPPs within a 10-kilometer radial distance of the National Capital Region (NCR) (or any cities with a million or more residents as of the 2011 Census) are classified as type A; TPPs within a 10-kilometer radius of sceptically deprived cities and semi cities are classified as type B; and the rest of the TPPs are classified as type C. TPPs in Category A must satisfy the standards by 2022, Category B by 2023, and Category C by 2024, according to the ministry's revised timetable.
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