Tragically, toxic emissions from 12 power plants kills 681 people in India each year

Toxic fumes emanating from 12 thermal power plants located in a 300km radius of Delhi are estimated to kill 218 people each year in the nation’s capital, a new study shows.

According to a study by the Center for Clean Air and Energy Research (CREA) it was found that an estimated 4,830 annual deaths nationwide were due to emissions from power generation. Of this, 682 are across Delhi-NCR.

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The report entitled ‘The continuing health and economic impact of coal-fired power plants in Delhi-NCR’ found that if the plants followed the 2015 emission standard notification, they would eliminate 3.2 million days of absence from work, more than 4,700 preterm births, approximately 7,700 asthma emergency room visits, and about 3,000 COPD cases in 2018 nationwide.

“The installation of emission control technology will prevent 62% of these deaths nationwide, which means an estimated 2,976 to 5,084 lives are saved each year,” Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at CREA and lead author of the report said.

“The delay in installing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) control facilities causes more than 13 deaths and a cost burden of Rs 19 crore per day in the country, which could be reduced by up to 63%, if all power plants installed pollution-controlling devices. and operate at the same generation load factor (a measure of the power plant’s output against its overall operating capacity) when it operates in 2018, “the report said.

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The report also highlighted that operating a power plant in Delhi-NCR with pollution control in accordance with the emission standard notification would eliminate 3000 lives lost, 3.2 million days of absence from work,> 4700 preterm births,> 7700 asthma emergency room visits and ~ 3000 COPD cases in 2018.

Installing emission control technology will prevent 62% of these deaths nationwide, which means between 2,976 and 5,084 lives are saved each year, ”Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at CREA and lead author of the report said.

Emissions assessments show that a coal-fired power plant operating within 300 km of Delhi-NCR in 2018 incurred a cost burden of nearly Rs 6,700 crore for the population of the country, and from this, Delhi faced a burden of Rs. 292 crore.

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The study also revealed that during 2018, more than 2,110 kg of mercury was emitted into the atmosphere by 12 coal-fired power plants operating in and around the nation’s capital.

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The findings also highlight that pollution from 12 factories has an economic impact far beyond Delhi-NCR.

The distribution of the economic impact of the power plant operation in Delhi-NCR shows that the highest cost burden is faced by Uttar Pradesh (Rs 2,301 crore) followed by Rajasthan (Rs 1,125 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 1,100 crore), Haryana (Rs 395 crore), Gujarat (Rs 362 crore), Delhi (Rs 292 crore) and Punjab (Rs 242 crore).

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