Of total 50 ‘polluting’ dyeing firms at Tajpur road and the industrial area that were issued notices by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in its bid to contain deteriorating air-pollution levels in the city in March, only 25 companies have installed the latest FBC (Fluidised Bed Combustion) technology in furnaces, while others have failed to incorporate the recommended changes.
The board had recommended these firms to install the FBC technology, which not only cuts carbon emission level but also increases fuel efficiency.
Talking to HT, Harbeer Singh, superintending engineer, range 2, said, “About 50 dyeing firms at Tajpur Road and nearby areas were causing heavy air-pollution by burning only 80% fuel in furnaces, while over 20% remnants were getting mixed in the air in the form of carbon. After the notices were slapped, some of them have now upgraded their furnaces, which have not only helped in burning fuel content up to 95% but — with only 5% remnants and further filtration by air pollution control devices — only a small quantity of carbon mixes with air through smokestack (chimney).”
Of the remaining 25 firms, about 12 companies are in the process to upgrading their furnaces with the latest technology and by June end, every dyeing firm will come under the FBC ambit, assured Singh.
However, he added that convincing the firm owners about the benefits of upgrading furnaces with the FBC technology was a tedious task.
Ashok Makkar, president, the Ludhiana Dyeing Units’ Association, said in their bid to save a penny, a few dyeing firms were using plastic, scrap and dump material as fuel substitute for coal, rice husk and petro coke. “Apart from causing problems in the machines installed, it also adds to air pollution,” he added.
A manufacturer, who operates at a small level, rued, “The upgradation cost of a furnace with the FBC is around `7 lakh, which, owing to a low season last year, will burn a hole in my pocket. However, it’s easy for bigger firms for adhere to the guidelines.”
There are more than 300 registered dyeing units in the city and most have installed FBC technology.