Closure of the thermal power station on the cards when the air quality deteriorates: Panel

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The Air Quality Management Commission (CAQM) is deliberating on the partial or total closure of Delhi-NCR thermal power plants, as part of its emergency measures when air pollution peaks in winter, the Indian Express learned.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has reportedly had discussions with electricity distributors in this regard. “Even if electricity production is cut off by thermal power plants, the gap could be filled by renewable energy sources,” said a member of the CAQM.

The emergency measure will be taken based on data on pollution sources fed by a modeling portal called Decision Support System, said the deputy. This should be operational by October.

This gradual step was part of the graduated action plan of the Environmental Pollution Authority (Prevention and Control) now dissolved until 2020. The member said that other GRAP measures could be kept during the course of the year. of the next post-harvest season.

The reconstituted 18-member CAQM was set up by the Center in April and can issue directives “for the purpose of protecting and improving air quality in the National Capital Region and adjacent areas” to Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Another regional action plan suggested by the statutory body calls on the coal industries to switch to a cleaner PNG. “Delhi and UP have achieved their goal. However, there are supply barriers in Rajasthan and Haryana. We are in contact with them to resolve it, ”said the member.

According to a CAQM leadership in August, 408 of the 1,469 industrial units identified in Haryana and 124 of the 436 units in Rajasthan had gone to gas.

The CAQM called on state governments to speed up the incentive-based electric vehicle policy. “The share of two-wheelers in air pollution in Delhi is significant. With electric vehicle policies in place, further gains could be made over the next four to five years. We expect these states to announce their policies soon, ”the member said.

Delhi last year launched incentives for electric vehicles. According to a 2015 IIT-Kanpur study, road dust accounts for 38% of Delhi’s PM 2.5 load, followed by vehicles (20%), domestic (12%) and industrial (11%) point sources. .

On stubble burning, whose share of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution rose to 40% last year, the member said the committee is focusing on in situ management measures through agricultural machinery or the recently introduced bio-decomposer. “Ex-situ management will take time. And the government of Punjab is identifying collection points from which bullets could be transported to the arrival points of briquettes or pellets, ”the member said.

To control dust pollution, the commission was inspired by the Noida model according to which self-declaration and measurement of air pollution before and after large constructions by companies are mandatory. He ordered other states to follow this model, the data of which is passed on to the respective pollution control boards and the Central Pollution Control Board.

SGQC action plan

– Partial or complete shutdown of thermal power plants in the NCR region as an emergency measure in winter

– Ask the States to accelerate the EV policy

– Orient the coal industries towards PNG

– Self-declaration by construction agencies to reduce dust pollution

– In-situ management of crop residues until the infrastructure of the collection point is ready

– Decision Support System, a real-time forecasting model for pollution sources. It will be upgraded by next year, after which even sources of pollution at the neighborhood level could be identified.

– Prohibition for vehicles to enter Delhi without RFID tags

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