UP’s new ordinance to check air pollution covers state’s most industrialised districts
A majority of UP’s industrial units are in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Ghaziabad and Meerut, which are considered maximum revenue and employment generators for the Uttar Pradesh government.Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 17:31 IST
Industrialists in Uttar Pradesh’s six most industrialised and highest revenue-generating districts - that are part of the National Capital Region (NCR) - on Thursday said they wanted subsidised piped natural gas (PNG), instead of coal and wood, for their units to check air pollution.
They said PNG was already being supplied to industrial units near Taj in Agra and Firozabad district. Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida), Bulandshahr, Hapur and Baghpat districts of UP are part of the NCR which now falls under the ambit of ‘Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020’.
After promulgation of the new ordinance by the Centre to check air pollution in NCR, industrialists of Uttar Pradesh’s NCR want the state government to make sure there will be no harassment of industrialists.
The ordinance stipulates a fine of up to Rs 1 crore with imprisonment of five years.
“The state government must make available subsidised PNG to all industrial units in the state’s NCR. The government is already doing this for industrial units in Agra and Firozabad districts,” said Pankaj Kumar, national president of Indian Industries Association (IIA), a lobby group of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.
“We will soon hand over a memorandum to chief minister Yogi Adityanath with the list of suggestions for industrial units in the NCR,” added Kumar.
A majority of UP’s industrial units are in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Ghaziabad and Meerut, which are considered maximum revenue and employment generators for the Uttar Pradesh government. Maximum investment in Uttar Pradesh is also in Noida and its adjoining regions.
Smoke emanating from boilers of industrial units is considered among major air-polluting factors in the NCR along with burning of stubble. In these boilers, coal and wood is used as fuel.
“Industries have always been a soft target for any action. An industrialist contributes to the nation’s growth and economy. He is not a criminal. Prosecution of an industrialist cannot be accepted in any way,” said Kumar.
“We are in favour of all measures to check pollution in NCR. But we will oppose any coercive action against an industrialist in the name of checking pollution,” Kumar added.
In Ghaziabad alone, there are around 110 industrial units that use coal and biomass as fuel for boilers.
According to the new ordinance, a committee will be constituted to manage air pollution in Delhi-NCR and its adjoining areas for better coordination and resolution of problems related to the air quality in Delhi. The 18-member committee will be headed by a chairperson appointed by the Centre. Its member-states will be Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. It will have the authority to stop the power supply or take action against any industrial unit.