Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indian's Updates: Coal power emissions may have killed 100,000 Indians in 2012: Study (12 Mar 2013)

Coal power emissions may have killed 100,000 Indians in 2012: Study
By, TNN | Mar 12, 2013, 04.04 PM IST

NEW DELHI: According to recent assessments by Delhi-based Urban Emissions, over 100,000 people died prematurely in 2011-12 due to emissions from thermal power stations in India. The study is based on a database of 111 coal power plants representing a generation capacity of 121GW.

The study also finds that there are millions of cases of asthma, respiratory distress and heart disease attributable to emissions from coal fired power stations and cost the country about 3.3 to 4.6 billion US dollars. Sarath Guttikunda, co-author of the report and adjunct faculty at the US based Desert Research Institute said: "Thousands of lives can be saved every year if India tightens its particulate emissions standards, introduces emission limits for pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. It should make monitoring of emissions at thermal plantsmandatory and publicly available," he said.

The study team said that they estimated emission data and applied methodologies which have been peer-reviewed. They also used National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP Reanalysis) to estimate incremental changes in the ambient pollutant concentrations due to the presence of coal-fired power plants in the region.

The Delhi-Haryana region and the Kolkata- West Bengal- Jharkhandregion are the worst hit. Delhi-Haryana has about 8 thermal power plants and has experienced around 8,800 deaths while the West Bengalregion has about 19 thermal plants and experienced around 14,900 deaths in 2012. Other regions recording high death rates include Mumbai and western Maharashtra, Eastern Andhra Pradeshand the Chandrapur-Nagpur region in Vidarbha.

The study was commissioned by Greenpeace India and Conservation Action Trust.


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