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Take action against thermal plants with no monitoring system: NGT

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The Economic Times
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The National Green Tribunal has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards to take action against 35 thermal power plants across the country which have failed to install online effluent and emission monitoring system, despite its direction. 

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed that the law provided sufficient powers to the CPCB and their state counterparts including direction to shut down non-complying units. 

"We dispose of this application with the directions to the CPCB and all the state pollution control boards to act in accordance with law. It is not for this Tribunal to implement the directions of the CPCB. 

"Law provides enough powers including power to direct closure and ensure closure of the defaulting industries. Let CPCB and all the state pollution control boards to take appropriate action in accordance with law," the bench said. 

The tribunal ordered the state administrations to provide all assistance to the state pollution control boards for ensuring execution of their orders. 

The thermal power stations which have been asked to respond include those in Hasdeo, Raichur, Koradi, Satpura, Khaparkheda, Paras and Parli besides Kamal Sponge Steel And Power Ltd, Indo Rama Synthetics, Uttam Galva Steels, Aurobindo Agro Energy, Kaveri Gas Power Limited, NLC Ltd, Saheli Exports Pvt Ltd and a 16 MW gas-based thermal power project in Tripura. 

The plea, filed through advocate Balendu Shekhar, has sought directions to these plants to comply with its order for installation of online effluent and emission monitoring systems. 

The plea claimed that directions were issued under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by the CPCB Chairman on July 21, 2015 to 318 thermal power plants located in various states and union territories for installation of these systems. 

It had directed all state pollution control boards to install online continuous stack emission monitoring system in 17 categories of highly polluting industries and in common hazardous wastes and biomedical waste incinerators. 

But no satisfactory response has been received from 35 thermal power plants which have "deliberately failed" to respond the directions issued by the CPCB, it had said. 

"Direct the thermal power stations to prepare a time- bound action plan for installation of Online Continuous Emission/Effluent Monitoring Systems and execution of such time bound plan of action. 

"Impose appropriate penalties on them on the ground of Polluter Pay Principal on account of their non cooperation and inaction which has resulted in huge loss of health, soil, animal, crops and ground water etc apart from exemplary damages," the plea had said. 

Author: sustainabilityoutlook