Miffed over the delay in its renovation to cut down on pollution,the Punjab Pollution Control Board on Tuesday ordered to shut down the Unit IV of Bathinda thermal plant in 40 days time.
The Board chairman,Kahan Singh Pannu passed the order after visiting the power plant. It was found that out of the total four units at the plant,the Unit IV was causing maximum pollution. Each unit of the plant is designed to generate 110 MW of electricity.
Chief engineer at the plant,K Lal,however,claimed that they have already planned to shut down the unit for renovation and modernisation work. We have planned to shut down the Unit IV on November 8 for renovation, Lal claimed. The 40-day deadline for closure given by PPCB ends on almost the same day.
Meanwhile,Pannu said that the action was necessitated as the thermal plant officials despite setting a number of deadlines beginning February this year had failed to undertake the renovation and modernisation work of the unit in question. We have now frozen their November 8 deadline with a legal order. Non-closure of the unit would invite action by the PPCB and put penalties for violation of the order, Pannu said.
The PPCB chairman also observed that despite having undergone renovation,the level of pollution at Units I and II was slightly more than the permissible limit.
During the checks in May and June,PPCB found more suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels in Units II and IV than permissible. Unit III is undergoing renovation
To control the SPM levels,Pannu had instructed the plant officials to use ammonia gas in units I,II and III for conditioning of fuel gases to reduce the concentration of pollutants in the emission.