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Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, Punjab, India


Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant is situated in Bathinda (Punjab) on Bathinda-Malout Road. The foundation stone of the thermal power plant, comprising of four units of 110 MW each was laid on 19th November, 1969, the quincentenary year of the birth of the great Guru Nanak Dev Ji from whom it gets its present name [1]. The thermal plant set up 45 years ago is to be dismantled as it has outlived its utility. All the four units of the power plant had outlived their designed life. Various equipment, including the boilers and turbines are in deteriorating condition. This obsolete equipment are restricting power generation to about 95 MW against the installed capacity of 110 MW. A INR 400 crore proposal for renovating the project had been approved to extend the plant's life by another 20 years [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, Punjab, India
State or province:Punjab
Location of conflict:Bathinda
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Chemical products
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The historic town of Bathinda was selected for this first and prestigious thermal power project of the state due to its good railway connections for fast transportation of coal, availability of canal water and proximity of load center. This project was completed in two phases at a total cost of about Rs 115 crore. The first unit was commissioned in September, 1974 and the others were subsequently commissioned in September, 1975, March, 1978 and last one in January, 1979. The commissioning of these units not only helped bridge the gap between supply and demand in Punjab but also solved the chronic problem of low voltage prevailing in the Malwa region. It is matter of pride that this plant is working successfully since its commissioning.

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Level of Investment:$64,574,733 (400 Crores for renovation)
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:285810
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:Punjab State Power Corporation from India
Relevant government actors:Punjab Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Joint Action Committee (JAC), Bhatinda, Sangharsh Committee
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Potential: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:On August 22, 2011, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced plans to shut down the Bathinda power plant. Despite some renovations, the plant will be completely dismantled. Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh has publicly stated his opposition to the Bathinda plant closure. He states that the state of Punjab is already experiencing a shortage of electricity, and to close another plant will create an even larger shortage. He wants the Bathinda plant to make the necessary restorations and reopen.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:A Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) official said that all four units have outlived their life
Townsmen had approached the High Court and the Human Rights Commission against the pollution being caused by the plant
The plant has been running without electrostatic precipitators that arrest the flow of ash from the chimneys
The plant burns 6,500 tonnes of coal every day, generating a high quantity of ash
It has resulted in rise in eye and respiratory ailments [3]
The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) top brass has categorically stated that so far it has received no proposal from the state government on closing the 440 MW Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) in Bathinda [6].
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Indian Energy Conservation Act
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Power Plant Performance Reporting and Improvement
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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[3] Ash-spewing Bathinda thermal plant to be shut down
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[4] Bathinda residents want thermal plant closed
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[5] GNDTP Bathinda power station
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[6] No proposal from government to close Bathinda plant, says power corp chief
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Bathinda thermal power plant engineers protest punitive action
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Bathinda thermal plant succeeds in lowering pollution
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Thermal Power Plants of Bathinda
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Bathinda thermal plant vomiting smoke harming people
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Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/06/2014
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