Ashish Roy, Times News Network, August 8 2017
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has corroborated the TOI expose’ on Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS) air pollution questioning the emission figures and Mahagenco’s system of measuring them. It has strongly recommended that KTPS should take air pollution control measures for the safety of citizens.
A CPCB team from Vadodara had visited Koradi on June 1 and 2 on the directives of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Following TOI reports on air pollution by KTPS, activist Ankita Shah had lodged a complaint with PMO.
The visit report dated June 14, was recently provided to Shah by CPCB head office through Right to Information (RTI). It states that the sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions at stack (chimney) that were observed during monitoring were single digit and below detectable limit (BDL) and hence are “not expected or acceptable.”
The particulate matter (PM) levels at stack were within limits. However, at the time of monitoring, the units were functioning at less than half their capacity. Environment expert Debi Goenka said monitoring should be done only when the units are operating at full capacity.
The report further supported TOI’s contention that installation of a flu-gas desulphuriser (FGD) unit was mandatory at KTPS. “As per the environmental clearance (EC) by ministry of environment, forests and climate change, (MoEFCC), FGD was to be installed. But except for floating a tender, no proper work is reported,” it said.
The report strongly asserts that Mahagenco that runs KTPS, needs to provide air pollution control system in the three units. “The plant should be shut down unless all the conditions are met,” said Goenka.
On online continuous emission monitoring systems (OCEMS), the report clearly pointed out the records were not maintained properly. “Some of the observed values are not representative and need proper calibration and functioning. Though registration of the system with CPCB had been done, connectivity to the board is yet to be established,” it said. The report at present is being examined at CPCB headquarters in Delhi.
In April, TOI had visited five affected villages surrounding KTPS where locals were facing various health issues due to emission of fly-ash and other pollutants. Surprisingly, the monitoring results of CPCB team in Suradevi, Waregaon, Singori and Bokhara villages shows levels of all pollutants within permissible limits. According to it, the weather conditions during monitoring were “cloudy, stormy and light drizzle.”