NGT Pulls Up MOEF&CC For Lack Of Action

Press release - September 15, 2017
NGT slams MOEF&CC: saying last chance to ensure compliance by the thermal power plants to the 7th December 2015 notification to reduce air pollution

New Delhi 15th September 2017 | The National Green Tribunal has observed that it may take action against MOEF&CC as well as coal based thermal power plants in case the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) goes on dragging its feet from implementing the emission standards set by the Ministry for these plants to control pollution and protect public health.


These remarks were made by the tribunal on Monday (September 11) while hearing the petition moved by Greenpeace India activist Sunil Dahiya in May 2016. The two Tribunal members, Justices Jawad Rahim and, Ranjan Chatterjee also questioned the suggestion made on behalf of the Ministry to form a committee to assess the implementation process.


The Tribunal observed "having issued the notification its enforcement is the primary and statutory duty of the Ministry itself through its instrumentality. That has not been done till now, and to say the least from thereby allowing adverse impact on the environment,” The counsel of the Ministry was asked to ensure compliance of the directions in notification by concerned thermal plants and file the report within a week when the case is heard again on September 18.


In 2015, MoEFCC had set  1st January and 7th December 2017  as deadlines for new and existing coal based thermal power plants to reduce air pollution emissions and high water consumption by them.


The case filed by Greenpeace India activist Sunil Dahiya challenges the Ministry for the lack of implementation of emission standard norms for the coal power plants in May 2016. The notification issued by the Ministry expected these power plants to retrofit their power generating units with pollution control equipments and devices that reduce emission of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and mercury that pose hazard to public health and environment. The notification also seeks steps by these plants to reduce water consumption.


RTI information accessed by Greenpeace India shows that according to Central Pollution Control Board’s own admission, implementing the 7th December 2015 notification would reduce particulate matter by 40%, sulphur dioxide by 48% and oxides of nitrogen by 48%, mercury by 60% and reduce water consumption by power plants by 40%.  This in turn  will be beneficial in improving the air quality situation and also reduce the stress on water consumption since power plants consume around 70% of the total industrial water.


“The benefits cannot be clearer than this stationary sources like power plants are one of the largest and easiest air pollution sources to tackle, if we are serious about tackling the public health crisis caused by polluted air. The question is whether the government is going to take action on those plants which are violating the rules and operating at the cost of public health or show a blind eye towards them.” said Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, Greenpeace India.

For further details-

Madhulika Verma; Communication Specialist;
; 9971137736

Sunil Dahiya, Campaigner, ; 9013673250

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