The National Green Tribunal today directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to clarify its stand on coal-based thermal power plants which were causing emission beyond permissible limits resulting in air pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the apex pollution monitoring body to take clear instructions from its officers and apprise it about the status of thermal power plants which were causing pollution.
"The environment ministry had issued a notification on air pollution emission standards and water consumption for coal-based thermal power plants. Show us one plant where compliance has been done. We direct the CPCB would take clear instructions (from its officers)on the next date of hearing," the bench said.
During the hearing, advocate Ritwick Dutta, appearing for the petitioner, environment activist Sunil Dahiya, said that the ministry has failed to take action against erring power plants and many of them were operational which was in violation to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) notification.
The matter will be heard on December 7.
The NGT had earlier rapped the MoEF for not abiding by its directions on implementation of a notification on air pollution emission standards and water consumption for coal- based thermal power plants.
The tribunal was hearing Dahiya's plea seeking a direction to the environment ministry and the environmental impact assessment authorities of all the states to ensure that all new approvals comply with the standards provided in the December 7, 2015 notification.
According to the plea, the ministry had promulgated the notification to bring about a reduction in air pollution and water consumption by thermal power plants across the country.
The petitioner had also said that according to the notification, coal thermal power plants installed after January 1 this year should adhere to stricter air pollution norms and the ones installed before December 31, 2016 were given time till December 7, 2017 for compliance.