New Deadlines For Thermal Power Plants To Meet Emission Standards


  • On 1st April, 2021, the Union Environment Ministry has declared new rules that pushed back deadlines for coal-fired power plants to adopt new emission norms by up to three years and allowed utilities that miss the new target to continue operating after paying a penalty.
  • India had initially set a 2017 deadline for thermal power plants to install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) units that cut emissions of sulphur dioxides.

Other Features of the new Rule

  • Plants near populous regions and the capital New Delhi will have to comply by 2022, while utilities in less polluting area shave up to 2025 to comply or retire units.
  • A task force will be constituted by the Central Pollution Control Board to categorise plants in three categories “on the basis of their location to comply with the emission norms”.
  • In case of non-compliance, a penalty of up to 0.20 rupees ($0.0027) will be levied for every unit of electricity produced.

Note: Thermal power companies, which produce three-fourths of the country’s electricity, account for some 80% of its industrial emissions of particulate matter, sulphur- and nitrous-oxides, which cause lung diseases, acid rain and smog.