The officials of the state pollution control board will conduct a survey of the infrastructure and availability of natural fuel in industrial areas of Ghaziabad.
The move comes after the UP pollution board served notices to industries and asked them to present a work plan within 120 days to convert from solid fuel to piped natural gas (PNG) in order to curb air pollution.
Following the notice, the Chamber of Indian Trade & Industry approached the then minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar and sent a representation over several issues faced by industries.
“The survey will assess the infrastructure and availability of PNG in industrial areas. Apart from industry associations, several individual industrialists had also sent us their representation after the notices were served,” said Paras Nath, regional manager from the state pollution control board.
The representations were directed to the Central Pollution Control Board and later to UP state pollution control board for a report.
In their representation, the representatives of the Chamber of Indian Trade & Industry had stressed that they were not sure before issuance of notice whether any survey was done to ascertain the requirement of the industries and if CNG is being supplied in sufficient quantity regularly to the industrial units in the NCR.
The association also highlighted the high running cost on PNG and said the textile industry in NCR was already suffering and facing financial crisis. They also stated that even if they convert to natural gas, the time taken would range from one year to one and half years.
“Air pollution in NCR is basically due to vehicular traffic, diesel trucks, diesel operated agricultural tractors used by builders in the area and overloaded vehicles running without any check. Therefore, to blame the industry alone for air pollution in the NCR is not based on facts and needs a proper study,” the representation to the MoS said.
They added that a proper survey should be done by CPCB about the availability of gas in the NCR and the requirement of the industry before issuing such notices.
Although the industries expressed their reservations, companies such as Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) said their industrial consumers’ base, opting for natural gas, is gradually increasing in industrial areas of Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad.
“We have sufficient infrastructure and network in all industrial areas in both districts. We are willing to provide connections to industrial consumers,” said an IGL spokesperson.
According to IGL statistics, the company has nearly 188 industrial consumers in Noida, including 37 big industries. The areas include sector 63 to 68, Hosiery Complex, Phase II, sectors 80-88, sectors 1-11 and 57-60.
In Greater Noida industrial areas such as Kasna, Surajpur I and II, Udyog Kendra, site 4, 5, 6 (near Kasna), Ecotech Extension, Knowledge Park 5, GT-Road Chapraula, the IGL has nearly 153 industrial consumers, including 35 large industries.
In industrial areas of Ghaziabad at Site-IV, Loni Road, Anand Industrial Area, BSR Road, Meerut Road, Sout-Side GT Road, Kavi Nagar industrial areas, the IGL has nearly 182 industrial consumers, including 51 large industries.