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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 222
ANSWERED ON:  29.11.2021
Emission of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide
Ramya Haridas
Poonam (Mahajan) Vajendla Rao
Will the Minister of



ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government is aware that India is the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic Sulphur dioxide from coal burning that contributes to air pollution;
(b) if so, the steps being taken by Government to decrease the emission of the abovementioned harmful gas;
(c) whether India has flue-gas desulphurization technology installed in the coal plants which would help in reduction of air pollution; and
(d) if so, the details thereof, if not, the reasons therefor?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI ASHWINI KUMAR CHOUBEY)

(a) & (b):It is a fact that coal basedthermal power plants are major source of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) which contributes to air pollution.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) vide its notification dated 07.12.2015 has stipulated norms for emission of SO2 from Thermal Power Plants apart from other pollutants. There was no SO2 emission norms for coal based Thermal Power Plants prior to this notification and regulated through stipulating the height of discharge/emittance through fixing height of chimney. The aforesaid notification dated 07.12.2015 was to be implemented within two years from the notification i.e. 07.12.2017. Subsequently in December 2017 after taking consideration various factors the timeline was extended on case to case basis from year 2018 to 2022. The implementation of control measures by thermal power plants were further affected by the disruptions caused by covid-19 pandemic. Having comprehensive analysis including demand-supply aspect, availability of resources, logistics and limitation on supplies of Pollution Control components, it was decided to grant extension of timeline for implementation of SO2 emission norms by TPPs and accordingly, amendment to the notification dated 07.12.2017 was made on 31.03.2021. The rationale of new timelines was based on environment considerations.

(c) &(d): Two of the commonly acceptable technology for flue-gas desulphurization of coal based thermal power plants (Wet scrubbing (WS) in alkaline media and Dry Sorbent Injection-DSI) are installed in India. As per latest status, 16 units are on wet FGD and 4 units on DSI technology installed for de-sulphurisation of flue gas from coal based thermal power plants. State wise list of these 20 units is enclosed at Annexure I.
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