14th April, 2016 (MAINS)


Q1. Environmental impact assessment studies are increasingly undertaken before project is cleared by the government. Discuss the environmental impacts of coal-fired thermal plants located at Pitheads.

[12.5marks/2014/GS-3] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • OpenForCriticism

    Coal has become crucial energy source for Electricity generation, Steel production, cement production to name a few.
    The impact of thermal power plant on environment are below:

    Black Carbon Generation:
    1) The basic property of carbon, it traps the heat and results in rise of temperature.
    2) Emission of black carbon affected adversely to the rainfalls over the time in Gangetic plains and Chotanagpur plateau.

    Greenhouse Gas emission and global warming:
    1)Due to the intense combustion the Sulfur and other gaseous pollutants getting into the environment in a large scale
    2) Intense CO2 generated due burning of the coal contributing to the global warming. There is 1 degree Celsius rise in earth’s temperature.

    Land: Extensive mining for the coal is leading to deforestation, Degradation the soil quality ,Decrease in land for agriculture

    Extensive use of Water: Extensive use of water in thermal power plants and nuclear power plants for electricity generation is creating the water scarcity. The magnitude of water crisis can be visible in implied section 144 in Latur Maharashtra.

    Respiratory AIlments: SO2 causes a number of health problems, including respiratory disorders

    Apart from generating the cost effective electricity which is needed in every corner of the nation.The impacts are only adverse to the environment with respect to coal fired thermal power plants.

  • RK

    Environment Impact assessment or EIA is an exercise done prior to any project in order to predict consequences of project execution and thereof suitable steps both preventable and post project completion decided so that to mitigate the project adverse impacts on environment. It is done to ensure environment sustainable growth.

    Impacts of coal fired thermal plants located at pitheads are as follows-

    1. Deforestation- Thus environment will become susceptible to air pollution, water pollution, soil erosion, fall in water table, biodiversity loss etc

    2. Air pollution- gases including oxides of nitrogen, sulphur, Co2, CO, fly ashes, soot, dusts etc will erode the quality of air. Inhabitants of nearby area may suffer from lung, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, nervous disorder etc

    3. Acid rain- oxides of nitrogen and sulfur may lead to acid rain in the area

    4. Water pollution- discharge of effluent from plant may lead to contamination of water, thermal pollution in nearby water bodies, drinking water problem etc

    5. Increase in population due to workers population may lead to congestion, pressure on resources, increase in crime, alcoholism, drug abuse etc

    6. Negative impact on agriculture production- due to water and air pollution, soil erosion, air dusts, increased in temp. etc

    7. Rehabilitation of displaced people.

    • OpenForCriticism

      Good answer.. I think there should be a conclusion for discussion.. Correct me if i am wrong.. Review my answer also..
      Thanks in advance!!