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India needs legal framework for closing mines and power plants

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Removing the TPPs will also free up the large tracts of land available with them. According to the report, 8,850 ha of land will become available by 2030. Over the next five years, an additional 12,230 ha will become available. This will increase considerably to reach 45,273 ha in 2036-40.

Since the laws and regulations in India do not firmly establish cleaning and sanitation requirements, there is a risk of factory sites being left derelict. This is especially true if GENCOs are financially stressed and lack adequate resources to remediate or redirect/re-develop, says lead author Mandvi Singh of iForest.

There is another catch with land issues. Forest land is often diverted for TPP development. Referring to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, the report informs that approximately 11,435 ha of forest land has been diverted for TPPs since the enactment of the Forest Conservation Act of 1980. what will become of these lands?

Similarly, there are concerns about the livelihoods of people associated with these TPPs. It is estimated that 1.92 lakh formal and informal workers would lose their jobs by 2030.

The loss of jobs will gradually increase over the next few decades as more and more TPPs are dismantled. It is estimated that around 3.98 lakh formal and informal workers would lose their jobs in the next decade. Beyond 2040, another 2.48 lakh workers are likely to find themselves unemployed due to the closure of TPPs.

The report points out that there are no specific guidelines in labor codes or ensuing central or state policies and regulations to plan for a “just labor transition,” especially when the TPPS is dismantled.

The report also discusses many other challenges, including financial regulation and disposal of toxic materials. Dismantling a TPP will cost billions of dollars, but this is not taken into account in the financial calculations when setting up the TPP.