Amid the air pollution in Delhi, the Centre's air quality panel on Wednesday stated that industries utilising unapproved fuels and coal in Delhi-NCR will be closed down from 01 January along with heavy fines imposed on them.
The strict measures will come into effect from 01 January 2023, however, the use of low-sulphur coal will be an exemption in thermal power plants.
Earlier in June, the commission had issued directions to ban the application of coal in domestic, industrial and other miscellaneous applications in the Delhi-NCR region from 1 January 2023.
Commenting on the measures, an official from Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said, the pollution control authorities are directed to shut down industries and commercial establishments using unapproved fuels, including coal without any prior show cause notice.
He added, according to the guidelines under ‘Central Pollution Control Boards’ the authorities are asked to collect maximum environmental compensation from them if they fail to follow the orders.
Only the captive thermal plants are allowed the use of low-sulphur coal under primary power generation, the official clarified further.
Restaurants, open eateries, dhaba and banquet halls are allowed to use wood and bamboo charcoal for hotel tandoors and grills with a proper emission control system. Cremation and religious purpose are allowed with the use of firewood and biomass briquettes. Also, the use of wood charcoal is allowed for ironing cloth, CAQM stated in its statement.
Meanwhile, NCR’s estimated annual industrial coal consumption is 1.7 million tonne with nearly 1.4 million tonne used in six major industrial districts.
In order to find some permanent solution to the rising air problems in Delhi-NCR, the panel had earlier requested the general public and experts in the field to suggest solutions in regard to the scenario and the majority of them suggested a ban on coal.
Experts highly recommend replacing the use of heavy fossil fuels, coal with some other fuel that causes less pollution in a certain way.