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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Delhi: Rs 5L fine on three waste to energy plants over air pollution

At Ghazipur, the team found that levels of dioxins, furans, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and hydrochloric acid were above permissible limits.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 19, 2021 7:43:44 am
At Okhla as well, components of stack emissions were found in excess of the permissible limits. (File)

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on three waste-to-energy (WtE) plants and a construction and demolition waste processing plant for contributing to air pollution.

The East Delhi Waste Processing Company Limited, which operates the WtE plant at Ghazipur, Delhi MSW Solutions Limited, which operates a plant in the Bawana Industrial Area, and Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Company Limited, which operates a plant on Mathura Road, have been ordered to pay the environmental compensation within 15 days.

As per the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), officials of the DPCC, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and IIT Delhi inspected the three plants between September and October last year, and stack emissions and ambient air quality were monitored.

At Ghazipur, the team found that levels of dioxins, furans, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and hydrochloric acid were above permissible limits. In terms of ambient air quality, the stations near the plant recorded particulate matter in excess of prescribed limits. At Bawana, levels of dioxins and furans were in excess in the stack emissions, while particulate matter at the nearby air quality monitoring stations also exceeded prescribed standards. At Okhla as well, components of stack emissions were found in excess of the permissible limits.

While leachate treatment plants are functioning at Ghazipur and Bawana, the value of total dissolved solids in the treated leachate was found unfit for land disposal, though it was being used for gardening.

All three plants are generating power below their capacity. Waste-to-energy power generation at Ghazipur was only around 3.45 to 8.75 megawatts (MW), much lower than the power generation capacity of 12 MW. Power generation at Bawana (20 to 22.5 MW) was also found to be lower than the capacity of 24 MW. The Okhla WtE plant was generating 18.5 to 21.5 MW of power, less than the capacity of 23 MW.

The DPCC had issued show cause notices to all three companies earlier this year.

The construction and demolition waste treatment facility at Bakkarwala was found without adequate dust control measures. Water sprinklers were not installed, while smog guns were not operational. Uncovered construction and demolition waste was also found heaped at the site.

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