Centre may shut all thermal plants near Delhi for now

Delhi: 3 Dec, 2021 (Times of India)


NEW DELHI: Facing a 24-hour ultimatum from the Supreme Court, the environment ministry on Thursday held multiple meetings with officials of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on additional measures, including shutting down of all thermal power plants within a 300 km radius of Delhi for a limited period, which can be taken to bring down the level of air pollution immediately.

Though the ministry and the CAQM will take the final call on new measures before submitting their response to the apex court on Friday, officials discussed the possibility and pros and cons of closing down remaining five of 11 thermal power plants, located within 300 km radius of Delhi, which had earlier not been shut, and limiting movement of diesel vehicles in the NCR.

The CAQM had in its earlier direction on November 16 ordered to shut down six power plants till November 30, but it allowed five to remain operational. "We may now go for shutting down these five as well for a certain period. The Commission has been in touch with the power ministry. It will take a call accordingly," said an official, adding that all the directions of November 16 would be extended for a few more days.

 He said, "The issue of 'odd and even' vehicle rule was also discussed, but there was no agreement on this issue. So, the Centre will not suggest this measure. There is, however, a possibility of shutting down certain industries in the NCR, considering the fact that many of them in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have not yet switched over to gas."