Expecting further deterioration in air quality in the coming days, the Environment Pollution Control Authority on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to be ready to close thermal power plants that do not meet the standards laid down in 2015.
In two separate letters, EPCA chief Bhure Lal asked the two state governments to review the preparedness for closing thermal power plants and to inform EPCA of this review as well as the steps that will be taken to ensure compliance with the necessary shut-down during the peak winter period.
"I had in this letter explained that we may have to direct the closure of thermal power plants, which do not meet the 2015 standards as air quality deteriorates in the coming days," he said.
"I am now writing to ask you to review the preparedness of this measure and to inform EPCA of this review and the steps that will be taken to ensure compliance with the necessary shut-down during the peak winter period," he said.
In the letter to the chief secretaries of the two states, Lal listed five power plants in Haryana and three in Uttar Pradesh and their status of compliance with the 2015 standards.
Lal said additional measures will be required as the condition is expected to exacerbate.
"Please treat this as urgent as we are expecting a further deterioration in air quality in the coming days. IMD has predicted that the ventilation index fund winds will see reduction and temperatures will also fall. These conditions will exacerbate the impact of local pollution and stubble burning and therefore, additional measures will be required," Lal said in the letter.