Health and Economic Impacts of Unabated Coal Power Generation in Delhi-NCR

Coal-based power plants are a major source of air pollution in India. After notification of emission standards for coal plants in December 2015, it’s been six years of sluggish implementation of the same resulting in huge health and economic damage costs. The report “Health and Economic Impacts of Unabated Coal Power Generation in Delhi-NCR” attempts to answer the questions, “What is the impact of continued power plant operations on air quality, human health and economics without the adoption of emission control technologies as directed under the MoeF&CC, 2015 notification for coal-based power plants in Delhi NCR”.

The study highlights that pollution from these power plants travels hundreds of kilometres and impacts public health in states far from their vicinity and the Delhi-NCR region, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc.

The report found that the operation of power plants in Delhi-NCR with pollution controls in line with the emission standard notification would have negated 3000 lives lost, 3.2 million work absence days, > 4700 preterm births, > 7700 Asthma emergency room visits and ~3000 COPD cases in 2018. The report also highlights that operation of power plants according to the standards would have saved nearly ₹4800 Cr in 2018 by avoiding welfare losses and forgone labour costs caused by air pollution impacts.

Sunil Dahiya, Analyst