A study has said the 40-year-old Badarpur power plant is one of the most polluting units. (Representational image)
Amid the controversy over Delhi government's plan to contain vehicular pollution, the Pollution Control Committee has asked why the power plant at Delhi's Badarpur -- considered one of the key sources pollution -- should not be shut down.
The plant is one of the big emitters of carbon dioxide and also fly ash, which contributes massively to the harmful particulate matter in Delhi's air.
The Pollution Control Committee also gave National Thermal Power Corporation - which runs the plant -- till December 15 to explain the emissions.
The notice from the Delhi government's pollution watchdog comes after the Arvind Kejriwal government Friday's announcement that the Badarpur and Rajghat thermal power stations will be shut down to reduce pollution.
In August, the National Green Tribunal had ordered both stations to bring the levels of particulate matter "within permissible limits" after a report highlighted their high content in the ambient air around the projects.
Delhi stands to lose a whopping 400 MW power if the Badarpur plant is shut down. The National Thermal Power Corporation had isolated Badarpur plant from grid collapses to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Delhi.
In case of a shut down, the Delhi government will also have to pay considerable damages to the NTPC.
The report was put together by a team comprising officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and a environment ministry representative.
A senior power ministry source said the two power units came under the scanner after the Delhi Power Procurement Group (DPPG) and the state-run State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) - had recommended phasing out of the two plants."
In February, a study by the Centre for Science and Environment said the coal-based power plants in India were among the most inefficient in the world and the carbon dioxide emissions were 14 per cent higher than similar plants in China. It also ranked the 40-year-old Badarpur power plant as one of India's most polluting power units.
In the wake of Delhi's being declared the world' most polluted city, the Arvind Kejriwal government has planned to control vehicular pollution through the even-odd car number system.
The proposal, which envisages cutting down the number of public vehicles to half on Delhi roads, has already been challenged in court. The petitioners have pointed out that trucks and construction sites were the other big sources of pollution.