Millennium Post

Delhi govt to turn Rajghat power plant into 5000 KW solar park

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has decided to transform the Rajghat coal power plant to a solar park of 5000 KW capacity. The Delhi government also decided to 'officially' shut down the Rajghat thermal power plant. The coal-based plant, having a power generation capacity of 135 MW and located at Yamuna bank, was commissioned in 1989.

The decision to close down the plant, where power generation was stopped due to pollution concerns in 2015, was taken during a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet, Deputy CM Sisodia said. "It (power plant) will be officially shut down and the 45-acre land on which it is located will be used to develop a solar park that will produce 5,000 KW of electricity," he said. He also added that Delhi Government decided to close down the production at the coal-based plant in 2015 as it was a major source of pollution. Delhi government has been pushing for Solar energy for quite some time now".

As per a study, almost 98 percent of the 142 tonne SO2 and 60 per cent of the 312 tonne NOx emitted in Delhi's air every day, came from the coal power plants. Breathing SO or NOx for short periods can cause adverse respiratory effects such as airway inflammation, bronchoconstriction and asthma symptoms. The pollutants also harm health by reacting in the atmosphere to form sulphate or nitrate fine particles, PM2.5, that chock airways to lungs. A study by the Centre for Science and Environment said the coal-based power plants in India were among the most inefficient in the world and the carbon dioxide emissions were 14 per cent higher than similar plants in China.

It also ranked the 40-year-old Badarpur power plant as one of India's most polluting power units.What's worse is that gaseous pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxde (SO2) that are also emitted from the plant were never accounted for in its over 40 years of operation. DPCC reports state that SO2 emissions which causes coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling around the chest has frequently been more than double of the permissible standard in the coal-based power plant. Last year on October the Delhi government also closed down the Badarpur power plant.

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