VIJAYAWADA: Though the state government has proposed to expand the Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) to produce another 800 MW of power, but the proposal may face challenges from the state pollution control board and forest and environment departments.
According to sources, the NTTPS authorities are ready to start work on the expansion, but they cannot proceed until they get clearances from the PCB and environment ministry. In all likelihood, the concerned departments will not give clearances easily.
At present, NTTPS has seven units up and running, with generation capacity of 1,760 MW. The proposed eighth unit will cost Rs 5,300 crore. The eighth unit will play a crucial role in the state government’s 24x7 power supply plans.
The locals have already raised objections, citing pollution concerns, before the public hearing committee. Earlier, the PCB had also issued several notices to the NTTPS over this. As per rules, pollution levels should not cross 115 milligrammes per Cubic Metre (MGCM) but the NTTPS has been unable to adhere to this standard. It is releasing over 140 MGCM from its six units.
“The seventh unit is more modern and there is no problem on the pollution front,” said PCB, Vijayawada region executive engineer P.G.K. Sastry. He said that poor quality coal and old machinery were main reasons for the pollution.
Local Congress leader P. Omkar Babu said that the ash, the by product, from the plant was enveloping several villages in the neighbourhood.
Location: Andhra Pradesh