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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

In latest clarification, Haryana says ban on diesel gensets only when air turns ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’

cities Updated: Oct 11, 2019 20:05 IST
Sonali Verma
Sonali Verma
Hindustantimes
         

Gurugram: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and the Supreme Court-appointed Environmental Pollution Control Authority (Epca) confirmed on Friday that the use of diesel generators will be banned in districts across the National Capital Region (NCR), including Gurugram and Faridabad only on days when the air quality is ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’, after October 15.

The Epca had, on October 7, issued directions that a “blanket ban” on diesel generators would be imposed in NCR districts after October 15, when the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) comes into force. However, in another order dated October 9, the Epca said generators would be banned only when air quality turns ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’. In a different letter issued by the HSPCB to authorities across NCR districts on Thursday, the former had stated “there will be complete ban on the use of diesel generator sets in Faridabad, Gurugram, Sonipat, Panipat and Bahadurgarh”. This was in contradiction to the Epca’s October 9 letter.

On Friday, Epca chairman Bhure Lal, in a letter to the Haryana chief secretary and the HSPCB, said there was some confusion on the ban on diesel generators. However, the use of diesel generators, other than excluded/ emergency services, in NCR will be banned on ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ days, starting October 15.

“We understand that there is some confusion on the ban imposed on diesel generator set in Delhi and in select towns of NCR. We would like to clarify that all the nine measures listed in the letter dated October 9, 2019 are to be enforced starting October 15, 2019, including the ban on use of diesel generator sets (other than exclusion/emergency services) in Delhi and in vicinity towns,” Friday’s letter stated.

S Narayanan, member secretary, HSPCB, said the letter issued by the board on Thursday had an error and that a clarification has been released for the same. “As per Epca’s order dated October 9, the ban on generators will be only ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ days only,” he said, adding that some confusion had prevailed in the matter earlier.

Gurugram has at least 10,552 diesel generator sets in at least 3,000 commercial and residential entities, according to information given by the office of the electrical inspectorate to a 2017 Right To Information query. As of Friday, Epca is yet to make a list of services for which the use of generators will be permitted after October 15. However, officials said hospitals and elevators in condominiums are likely to be excluded from the ban.

Other measures the Epca directed be implemented under Grap from October 15 include monitoring of waste and garbage burning, enhancement of parking charges, dust control measures such as regular mechanised sweeping and water sprinkling.

Diesel generators are known to emit large quantities of sulphur oxides and particulate matter, which lead to the formation of secondary aerosols, particularly polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) — a carcinogen formed as a direct consequence of diesel combustion.

According to a 2018 study by the Centre for Science and Environment, in societies where diesel generators operated for several hours a day, PM2.5 and PM10 levels increased by 30% and 50-100% respectively, compared to levels before their use.

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 20:05 IST

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