HYDERABAD: Telangana seems to be the biggest dumping ground in the country for local and imported waste tyres. According to official figures, the State has the highest number of tyre pyrolysis units in the country, and all of them are in violation of environmental norms.
According to a report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Telangana has 88 pyrolysis units, of which 61 are operational at present. However, as per the Telangana State Pollution Control Board’s (TSPCB) own admission, all the 61 are non-compliant to various environmental norms.
As per country-wide figures, Telangana has the second-highest number of pyrolysis units, after Uttar Pradesh (117). However, only 79 of these 117 units in UP are operational at the moment. Out of this, as many as 72 are compliant to the environmental norms. Unfortunately in Telangana, however, all functional pyrolysis units are non-compliant to environmental norms. In fact, there are a total of 270 non-compliant pyrolysis units in the country.
The data was produced in a case filed in NGT by Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), claiming that pyrolysis units emit highly carcinogenic pollutants such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Dioxin, Furans and Oxides of Nitrogen, which are harmful to the respiratory system. They pleaded that the usage of used tires in pyrolysis units should be banned.
The NGT directed CPCB to ensure that India does not become a dump yard for waste tyres from across the world and to ensure that the health of workers at pyrolysis units was not at risk. It also directed the State pollution control boards to take action in this regard, including the levy of Environmental Compensation. It has asked the CPCB to monitor and file a status report on compliance by November 30 this year.
What is pyrolysis?
By pyrolysis, a material is decomposed at high temperatures, in the absence of oxygen. Tyre pyrolysis units conduct such thermal decomposition of waste tyres to get a low-quality oil out of it, which finds usage in industrial furnaces