Units in Gurugram, Faridabad get closure notices for not switching to PNG
Industries in the state’s National Capital Region (NCR) districts that are yet to switch to piped natural gas (PNG) as an alternative to traditional fuels, despite the availability of PNG, will be liable for closure as per an order by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Officials in the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said they have identified such industries and begun sending closure notices to individual units.
There are over 1,539 such units in Gurugram and Faridabad alone, ranging from machine parts to textiles to wood working, which were to adopt PNG in lieu of more traditional fuels such as diesel, husk and coal. Of these, only 139 have made the switch. Of 914 units in Faridabad, only 62 units have adopted PNG while another 246 are ‘under process’, according to an HSPCB official. In Gurugram, out of more than 625 units, at least 74 units have adopted PNG, while at least 160 are in process. Pet-coke and furnace oil, frequently used earlier, were banned in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh by the Supreme Court in 2017.
In December last year, at a meeting of the CPCB task force to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR, it was decided that “all industries in NCR-Delhi, wherever gas supply is available, must shift to PNG by March 31, 2019.” This deadline later was extended to April 30.The CPCB has also sought multiple reports from state pollution control boards about the status of conversion of industries to PNG between February and May this year.
The CPCB had, on July 2, observed that “in spite of availability of PNG supply in the area, a large number of industries have not switched their operations.” The CPCB also directed the HSPCB (along with the state pollution control boards of Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) under Section 18(1)(b) of the Air (Prevention of Control and Pollution) Act, 1981, “to issue closure directions to all such industries of Delhi NCR.”
Rajesh Garhia, senior scientist at CPCB, said, “These actions are part of measures being taken against the impact of industries on air pollution in the National Capital Territory. In certain areas, PNG is not readily available but we have given those units time as gas companies are working to make PNG available there.”