‘Bhopal gas leak’ prompts shutdown of coal-fired power plants in West

The state government has decided to close all power plants to curb the spread of the gas leak that threatens the health of the people and the environment, state chief minister Satyendra Jain said on Saturday.

Jain said coal-burning power plants were being shut down for the first time this year in Bhopal and the neighbouring districts of Thane, Thane and Indore.

He said that as a precautionary measure, coal-powered plants were shut down.

The State government has ordered all coal- and gas-fired plants to shut down till November 25 and for the next three months.

The state has also cancelled coal mining licences of a coal-producing company, the Maharashtra Power Corporation Ltd.

Jains government had earlier ordered a complete shutdown of the coal-and-gas power plants from January 1.

Jairam Ramesh, a senior advocate at the Centre for Constitutional Rights, said the government’s decision was an attempt to appease the environmental lobby.

“It is a way of appeasing the coal lobby and appeasing vested interests.

This is an attempt by the state government to appease those who want a clean power policy,” Ramesho told The Hindu.

Jai Jain, the state’s chief minister, has also asked coal-based power stations to shut at least until February 24, when the power grid will return to normal.