Sunday, February 12, 2017

CSSP Talk on "Coal Based Energy in India: Policy and Legal Challenges" by Debadityo Sinha, Vindhya Bachao Abhiyan | 15th February, at 2:30 p.m.

Centre for Studies in Science Policy

School of Social Sciences, JNU

Invites you to

Talk on

Coal Based Energy in India: Policy and Legal Challenges


Debadityo Sinha

Senior Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, Delhi, India

Venue:  Room No. 227, 2nd Floor, SSS-1

Time:   2:30 p.m.

Date:    Wednesday, 15th February 2017

Abstract: Coal based thermal power plants are one of the major source of energy across the globe. Presently, over 60% of India's power supply is coal based. The coal power plants are regarded as critically polluting industry and are source of 60% of Particulate Matters, 45% of Sulphur Dioxide, 30% of Nitrogen Oxides and 80% of total Mercury emissions in the country. Recent findings show that the emission from thermal power plants can travel up to 400 km and has huge impact on air quality which results into severe impact on human health and agricultural yield. Being a water intensive industry, thermal power plants are directly in conflict with other competitive users, thus, severely threatening the river systems in the country.  Despite the fact that the thermal power is regarded as one of the most highly polluting industry, the existing framework adopted for regulating the operations of the thermal power projects are highly inadequate and deficient in dealing with the environmental and ecological impacts. Relaxed policy framework, lack of mandate for pollution control technologies and improper monitoring of the compliance are the main problems behind the existing emissions from thermal power plants. The talk will be based on the three aspects: i) impact of coal based thermal power plants on food and water security of the country and the underlying external costs to the economy; ii) the scientific and technical challenges of the two main regulations/policy aspect present for regulating coal based thermal power plants i.e. the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006 and the recently notified Emission Standards for Thermal Power Plants, 2015; and iii) the issues related to compliances with existing regulations and the possible solutions.

About the Speaker: Debadityo Sinha is an environmental policy researcher and activist based in Delhi. He has done M.Sc.(Tech) in Environmental Sciences and Technology, from Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University. He has range of publications on environmental issues in independent media and research journals. At present, he is associated as Senior Research Fellow with Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, a Delhi based legal policy research organization and is also a Board Member of EKOenergy, an international organization which promotes sustainable energy. He is also founder of Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (VENHF), popularly known as Vindhya Bachao Abhiyan ( Debadityo, through his organization VENHF, has been raising critical environment and development related issues before the government and courts. He has legally challenged the latest emission standards notified by GoI for thermal power plants before the National Green Tribunal (NGT). In one of his petition, the NGT has quashed the Environmental Clearance of a 1320 MW coal based thermal power plant proposed in Mirzapur on the ground of invalid Environmental Impact Assessment. He was also the member of civil society delegation which forced the World Bank in 2016 to withdraw the plan of construction of barrages on River Ganga for augmentation of the National Waterways-1. He can be contacted at

All are welcome to attend the lecture.

Coordinator, CSSP Lecture Series

No comments: