Many NCR towns still to notify list of approved fuels: CAQM

The policy mandates phasing out coal and other dirty fuels in a time-bound manner to curb air pollution, a major share of which comes from industrial emissions.

Published: 18th July 2022 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th July 2022 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Despite directions from the pollution-control panel, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), most towns in the National Capital Region (NCR) have not notified the list of approved standard fuels to industrial clusters housing umpteen number of smaller units, boilers and furnaces, which continue to use coal and other dirty fuels for Delhi -NCR and adjoining states flagged in its policy document to curb air pollution in the region. 

The policy mandates phasing out coal and other dirty fuels in a time-bound manner to curb air pollution, a major share of which comes from industrial emissions. According to the panel’s report, the respective state governments need to notify the list of approved fuels under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. 

For instance, the approved fuel list for Delhi bans the use of coal, furnace oil, and other downstream and recycled fuels. There are 19 districts in the NCR that contribute to high levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR. “However, the approved fuels lists in other NCR states, while banning pet coke and furnace oil, continue to rely upon polluting fuels like coal, LDO etc with no clearly defined targets for their replacement,” the report said. 

According to experts, coal usage dominates the industrial districts in NCR that increases pollution. The lists from Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi are still widely varying: considering the central theme of a common air shed for NCR, which calls for a common approved fuel list for the entire region, as per the report. 

Experts said that clean fuel transition is critical for finding a permanent solution to air pollution. “This will require rapid transition to natural gas and reliable supply of electricity for industrial processes. Even with the current natural gas infrastructure in Delhi, substantial transition is possible with targeted development,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). 

The key industrial districts in the NCR include — Ghaziabad, Panipat, Bhiwadi, Alwar, Gurugram,Gautam Budh Nagar, Faridabad, and the twin towns of Sonipat and Panipat.  “NCR needs a district-wide mechanism for enforcement of a clean fuel policy to prevent illegal use of banned fuels. A monitoring and surveillance system and visible display of CTO (Consent to Operate) from pollution control boards by each unit is needed in this regard,” the report said. 

‘Will remit issues due to ban on 4-wheelers’ 
New Delhi: The government will look into the “practical problems” that can arise out of the proposed ban on BS-IV diesel vehicles if air pollution rises to the “severe plus” level, and take a call after holding discussions with people, said Environment Minister Gopal Rai.  As part of its new policy to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR, the CAQM has for the first time recommended to impose the ban on diesel four-wheelers when the AQI breaches the 450 mark.

India Matters


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