Yelahanka power plant told to shift to bio-fuel

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Subhash Chandra N S,

PlantBangalore, Aug 18, 2013: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has directed the polluting  Yelahanka power plant, run by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), to shift to bio-fuel. It is currently using furnace oil.

To protect residents of Yelahanka from the pollution caused by the power plant, the KSPCB has directed the KPCL to stop using furnace oil which is a major pollutant. “We have told them to shift to either diesel or to bio-fuel. They are yet to act on it,” said Vamanacharya, chairman, KSPCB.

There were several complaints about the plant from people living in its vicinity and, the Board’s local environment officer had inspected the unit and submitted a report. Subsequently, a notice was issued to KPCL. But, the power generating company has not taken any action so far, he said.

Official sources in the Board said that KPCL has informed the KSPCB that there are no cable lines to supply power and it has requested them not to pressure it to shift to bio-fuel.

“When we told KPCL to go for bio-fuel, they said there was no supply of it. So, the Board itself sent a bio-fuel supplier to talk to them. However, there is not much progress,”sources in KSPCB told Deccan Herald.

Reacting to it, the KPCL officials on condition of anonymity said that there is no question of shifting to bio-fuel. For, a huge quantity of bio-fuel is needed as the plant caters to the power needs of the Rail Wheel factory, parts of the Peenya industrial area and some residential areas.

Though the officials admitted there is a proposal to supply bio-fuel , the same cannot be executed considering cost of green fuel. However, the KPCL said that the Yelahanka power plant will be converted into a gas-based unit and work in this regard has already reached the final stages.

Counter attack

On public complaints of pollution, KPCL officials said the plant is situated in the industrial zone and there is no question of any violation. On the contrary, high-rise apartments have mushroomed around the plant. It needs to be verified how they obtained necessary clearance, they countered.

“This plant was not set up in the recent days, but the buildings have come up of late.
“How can they permit buildings within 500 metres of the industrial area,” questioned an official. He said if the plant is disturbed, uninterrupted power supply to the City will be hit as the unit produces one million units of power on average daily.

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