The use of coal as fuel will be banned in the National Capital Region (NCR) starting January 1, 2023, according to the Air Quality Management Commission (AQMC).
For regions where infrastructure and piped natural gas (PNG) supply are already available, the ban on the use of coal will come into effect from October 1, 2022, the CAQM said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As air pollution concerns are uniform across the NCR and from the perspective of a common airshed approach for the entire NCR and adjacent areas, the Commission has decided to phase out the use of coal as a fuel of the entire NCR in the industrial sectors, domestic and various applications (with the exception of the use of low sulfur coal only in thermal power stations), with the aim of ‘overall improve air quality in the region,’ says a statement from the CAQM.
About 1.7 million tonnes of coal are used annually in NCR industries, according to the CAQM. The commission issued several instructions to state governments in the NCR asking industries to switch to PNG.
The best of Express Premium
In a directive issued in February this year, the CAQM had noted that a majority of industries in the NCR still do not operate on PNG or “cleaner fuels”, despite the availability of infrastructure and fuel supplies. natural gas. These industries in the NCR were then told to switch completely to PNG or biofuels by September 30 this year or risk being shut down. On December 7 last year, the CAQM ordered the closure of industries that had failed to switch to the use of PNG despite the availability of supply, until December 12. As air quality deteriorated last winter, the commission also restricted the operating schedule. non-PNG industries operating eight hours a day for five days a week.
Industries in Delhi are only allowed to operate on PNG or electricity. According to the Delhi government, all 1,607 registered industrial units in the NCR have moved to PNG.
In August last year, CAQM noted that 408 industrial units out of 1,469 identified to switch to gas had made the transition in NCR districts of Haryana. In NCR districts of Uttar Pradesh, 1,161 out of 2,273 industrial units had switched to gas, while 124 out of 436 units in NCR region of Rajasthan had switched to gas. State governments have been instructed to prepare an action plan with a timetable for the transfer of all identified industrial units to PNG, as well as a plan to ensure infrastructure and supply to PNG where it is. is not available.