Delayed Deadline: Analysis of coal power sector’s plans to meet new environmental norms

The thermal power sector has made very little progress in implementing the revised stack emission standards for suspended particulate matter (SPM), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxide(s) of nitrogen (NOx) notified in December 2015. The industry had raised several objections— the technology is not suitable for Indian coal, costs are too high, and space was not available. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) research showed that these issues were manageable. CSE shared its research with major stakeholders—industry, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), etc. In the period between March 2016 and March 2017, a broad agreement has emerged that most of the objections can be taken care of easily. However, in the process the industry has squandered a lot of precious time.