According to an analysis of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) data released by environmental NGO Greenpeace, “India has more than 15% of all anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) hotspots in the world detected by the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.”
The major SO2 emission hotspots in India are Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Neyveli and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra.
The other hotspots across the globe include Norilsk smelter complex in Russia being the largest SO2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by Kriel in Mpumalanga province in South Africa and Zagros in Iran.
However, as per country-wise world rankings, India was found at the top position in emitting SO2 as it has the maximum hotspots.
“We are facing an air pollution emergency and yet it is far from clear that power plants will meet even the extended deadlines to comply with pollution limits, both in Delhi and around the country,” said Pujarini Sen, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace.
In December 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had initiated SO2 emission limits for coal power plants for the first time with an initial deadline to modify technology to control SO2 emissions by December 2017.