The government has issued directions to 79 coal-based power plants in category A to curb the emission of Sulphur and Nitrogen Dioxide gases by the end of this month. In contrast, the rest 517 units have been given time relaxations. The said power plants give out about 20,500 MW in numerous cities across 10 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and UP. These are major projects which are owned by companies like NTPC, TATA Power, Torrent Power Apraava India and various other state companies of Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
According to the previous guidelines, the failure to comply with the norms by December 2022 would have led to the closure of such plants, but due to reasons such as the pandemic and trade restrictions, the deadline has been extended till December 2024 upon the request of the Ministry of Power. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has prepared a revised list to categorise the thermal power plants and specified details for non-compliance. The Environment Ministry has categorised the thermal power plants into three groups.