Ground Report | New Delhi: 50% of power plants in India; The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) revealed that 50 percent of the existing thermal power plants in India are in massive violation of the 2015 water use norms. It may be mentioned that CSE had surveyed thermal power plants in the country with a total generation capacity of 154 GW, of which about 50 percent are not complying with the water use norms. Surprisingly, most of these power plants are owned by government companies.
50% of power plants in India are violations of 2015
The report, titled Water Efficient Power, shows that even though it has been six years since the water consumption norms were implemented, coal-fired power plants are still ignoring water regulations.
This also matters because the industry is the largest consumer of clean water in India. This industry alone is responsible for about 70 percent of the clean water consumed by industries in the country. If you look at the two power plants with cooling towers in the country, they consume almost twice as much water as other countries.
If we look at the water use norms in 2015 (which were revised again in 2018), the per MW water consumption limit was set at 3.5 cubic meters for plants installed before January 1, 2017. For plants installed thereafter, the limit is 3 cubic metres. January 1, 2017. Along with this, they will also have to adopt a zero liquid discharge policy.
48 percent of thermal power plants are in Nagpur and Maharashtra
According to the recently released estimates by CSE, about 48 percent of thermal power plants in India are Nagpur and Chandrapur in Maharashtra, Raichur in Karnataka, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Barmer and Baran in Rajasthan, Khammam, and Kothagudem. in Telangana; and districts like Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, which are already facing water scarcity. Not only this, reports of disputes between industries and local people regarding the use of water have also come to the fore in many places in the country.
In addition, plants using clean water were allowed to use this limit of 3.5 cubic meters of water per MW after installing cooling towers. However, it was not mandatory for thermal power plants to use seawater to comply with these regulations.
Water norms for coal power plants were introduced in 2015
The deadline for meeting these water-related norms was December 2017, which has long passed. Water norms for coal power plants were introduced in 2015 along with emission norms. While the timeline of emission norms for this sector has been revised twice by the ministry, once in 2017 and most recently in 2021, the issue of compliance and implementation of water norms has been completely ignored. is.
Nivit Kumar Yadav, Program Director, Industrial Pollution Unit, CSE, said, “This comes at a time when many power-generating sectors of the country are facing severe water scarcity. Also, due to the waste discharge of power plants. The water is also polluted to a great extent.” (50% of power plants in India)
According to the report, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have the highest number of plants flouting the rules. Most of these plants belonging to MAHAGENCO and UPRVUNL are very old, still based on old technologies, leading to a lot of water wastage. The survey conducted by CSE has found that these old plants are still functioning without cooling towers. These plants are violating not only water but also emission norms in the country.
All the power plants built in the country before 1999 are now obsolete which is causing pollution. Many of these plants were to be retired, although this has not happened yet. Those plants are still running unabated today without any emissions control devices or plans to install or upgrade cooling towers.