Skip to main content

India could have averted 76,000 deaths: "Failure" to comply by 2015 emission norms

Counterview Desk
On the third anniversary of notification (December 7) and one year since the deadline lapsed for implementing the emission standards for coal based power plants, a Greenpeace India analysis has pointed out that approximately 76,000 premature deaths could have been averted if the coal power plants in India had implemented the emission standard norms notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC in 2015) on time.

A Greepeace note based on its analysis:

Based on data accessed under Right To Information response given by the Central Pollution Control Board, Greenpeace India released an analysis -- Health & Environmental benefits of implementing the emission standards for coal-based TPPs. The analysis highlights that India would have reduced 48% of SO2, 48% of NOx and 40% of PM emission respectively if the coal power plants had complied by the TPP emission standards.
Out of 76,000 premature deaths, 34,000 deaths per year could have been avoided due to SO2 emissions reduction, 28,000 deaths due to NOx reduction and 15,000 deaths due to PM emissions reductions.
The deadline for complying with the emission standard norms was December 7th 2017. A year has passed with very little improvement in emission control at power plants. Earlier this year the supreme court observed “that the Ministry of Power has absolutely no intention of doing anything to reduce the air pollution generated by coal-based thermal power plants” and called their plan to implement the standards by 2022 “completely illusory in nature.”
According to the report a five-year delay in the implementation of the standards can lead up to an estimated 3.8 lakh avoidable deaths and NOx limits alone can lead in projected 1.4 lakh avoidable deaths. The projection has not taken into account the increase in coal-based power generation for future years.
Says Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India:
“Emission standards for thermal power plants were due in India over few decades, it’s unfortunate that the Ministry of Power and coal power companies are refusing to implement the rules and hiding behind false technical details. They should understand India is facing a public health crisis due to air pollution and emission from coal power plants are a big part of that crisis. 
"India should accelerate implementation of the emission standards and stop any new investment on coal and move aggressively towards renewable energy sources which are not just environment friendly but are overall sustainable and cheaper than polluting coal.” 
Greenpeace India urges MoEFCC to pull up erring thermal power plants and hold them accountable for the pollution they are causing. All thermal power plants must comply with emission standards and no new thermal power plants should be built to ensure a smooth energy transition.
To enhance the accountability and compliance the progress for retrofitting the power plants should be made available to public maintaining the transparency of actions taken by various authorities with respect to the new timeframe scheduled for the power plants.

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).