The National Green Tribunal asked thermal power plants to take prompt steps for scientific disposal of fly ash, warning that the failure to do so would entail a penalty.
A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice S P Wangdi said there is no discretion available with this tribunal to dispense with the mandate of law and statutory provisions are binding on every thermal power plant without any exception.
Air pollution from burning of fossil fuels costs India Rs 10.7 lakh crore annually, reveals a latest report titled ‘Toxic Air: The Price of Fossil Fuels’. The report states that China mainland, the United States and India bear the highest cost of air pollution due to fossil fuels. The cost for India is equivalent to 5.4% of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Across advanced economies, emissions from the power sector declined to the lowest levels since the late 1980s, when electricity demand was one-third lower than today.
The significant contribution of India’s role in controlling global emissions can be understood by the fact that the IEA has cited weaker global economic growth in countries such as India to have played a major role, moderating the increase in emissions.
In one of the major announcements, the government had even announced the plan to raise the share of natural gas in the country’s primary energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the present level of 6%.
According to the ministry, the centre will be headed by Amitesh Kumar Sinha, a Joint Secretary of MNRE. The centre will catalyse and boost investor confidence and ensure timely completion of projects in the sector. A dedicated portal for this task will be set up soon. It will also function as a focal point that provides information on policies and initiatives of the government.