In order to reduce air pollution levels, the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) has issued directions to industries in Ghaziabad and Hapur districts to present within 120 days a workplan to convert from solid fuels to compressed natural gas (CNG) or piped natural gas (PNG).
According to officials from the regional pollution control department at Ghaziabad, the notices were issued to nearly 281 industrial units in Ghaziabad and another 36 units in Hapur on the directions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
“The industries will now have to reply and present their workplan to convert to natural gas. They have to reply by August end. The conversion will be more eco-friendly. Presently, we have nearly 400 polluting industries where industrialists use equipment like filters, cyclone separators, bag filters and electrostatic precipitator to reduce the effect of emissions,” said Paras Nath, regional manager of UPPCB at Ghaziabad.
According to officials, nearly 172 industries in Ghaziabad that have shifted to CNG presently use nearly 72,000 SCMD (standard cubic metre per day) of the fuel. Another nearly 179 commercial establishments also use nearly 179 SCMD of CNG.
“CNG/PNG arrived in NCR in 2012. Industries should have converted to natural gas during that time. Now, the government should take strict measures to ensure that industrial units comply and stop usage of solid fuels like coal, wood etc. There are other illegal units that also use tyres, plastic, saw dust etc that emit high pollutants,” said SK Maheshwari, an industrialist from Site 4 industrial area at Sahibabad.
“Industrialists will not oppose the move to convert (to cleaner fuels), but we demand augmented gas supplies and an enhanced network that provides connectivity to all industrial areas,” said Arun Sharma from the Ghaziabad industries federation.
Meanwhile, officials have decided to initiate a study for Ghaziabad district to determine the amount of air pollution coming from different sources.
“The study would tell us that how much air pollution is caused in the district by vehicles, industries, construction sites, dumping activities etc. Presently, we don’t have such a study that can tell us the sources adversely affecting the air quality in the district. We have also written to our headquarters that such a study should be conducted in our district,” the regional manager said.