Thermal plants yet to pay Rs 14 crore fine - ECAS Punjab

Thermal plants yet to pay Rs 14 crore fine

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Patiala, June 15

None of the thermal power plants in Punjab, whether private or government owned, have deposited a single penny with the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) despite the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) levying a fine of Rs 18 lakh per month per unit.

Last month, the CPCB had asked the PPCB to collect the fine for the first five months by June 5. Sources said thermal plants were still trying to find legal remedies to escape the heavy penalty and buy additional time to adhere to new environmental guidelines.

In May, the PPCB had written to these plants to deposit the fine, called ‘environmental compensation’, which will remain in force till the units comply with norms. The fine, which has been piling up since January, will have to be deposited by the fifth of the succeeding month. This means that roughly Rs 14 crore for the first six months is pending now and the units continue to pollute the environment.

Industry insiders say the conversion cost will be around Rs 73 lakh per MW. “The high cost may trigger a tariff hike from 32 to 72 paise per unit. Even the running cost of the new technology will add to power production and rates will have to be revised,” an expert said.

“We had written to all power plants of the state to deposit the fine pending from January, which was over Rs 11 crore till June 5,” said PPCB member secretary Karunesh Garg. “Now, we will apprise the CPCB that none of them have replied to the notice and haven’t deposited the fine. Action will be taken as per guidelines,” he said. — TNS

from The Tribune

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