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Thermal power industry is brazening out meeting new emission norms

Exactly 18 months ago, I wrote a column in this newspaper titled, ‘Can the thermal power sector be trusted again?’. I cautioned the government against granting further relaxation in timelines to the coal-based thermal power sector to meet the new pollution norms without a proper monitoring and implementation plan. Alas, my fear seems to be coming true the sector has, again, made very little progress towards meeting the new timelines. But, before I expand on this, let’s recap.The coal-fired power sector is the biggest source of industrial pollution in India. Of the entire industrial sector, it alone accounts for 60% of suspended particulate matter (SPM) emissions, 50% of sulphur dioxide (SO2), 30% of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), 80% of mercury .....

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