Norms in Name Alone

February 11, 2022

Brief of the report – A task-force committee led by the Central Pollution Control Board issued revised deadlines for power plants last December. The coal power plants were put under three categories based on the distance of its stack from non-attainment cities, cities with million plus population and critically polluted areas and deadlines to meet the norms were extended up to 2024. CSE has researched these developments, analysed if the revised deadlines will be met and has put together this new report. This report discusses the current status of compliance with the norms, it analyses sector-wise status, and highlights the states that need to accelerate the rate of compliance with the emission norms and proposes measures that can improve the system.  

Key findings of the report are:

  • Most stations to miss the deadline: 61 per cent capacity in Category A, 33 per cent in Category B and 32 per cent in category C are likely to miss their respective deadlines
  • Monitoring insufficient: For one-fifth of the coal power capacity, there is no monitoring being done and thus, its status is unknown. No data is put on public domain on the status of compliance with particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, water, and mercury norms.
  • Nine states could emerge defaulters: Maharashtra followed by Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, and Rajasthan are the major defaulters with over 5000 MW capacity that is likely to non-comply with the norms by stipulated timeline.
  • State sector to miss the deadline: Of the 21 companies in India that are state-owned (including partnership companies where the state has major stakes), all barring three are likely to miss the deadlines.
  • Small size units to miss the deadline: More than 50 per cent of the capacity of plants that are less than 500 MW are likely to miss the deadline. These are predominantly smaller units installed before 2003 most of which have completed their design life and are operating inefficiently, spurring pollution. These units have more relaxed norms than units installed post-2003.


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