475 polluting industrial units switch to cleaner PNG fuel, more to follow

475 polluting industrial units switch to cleaner PNG fuel, more to follow

Of the 1,500-odd polluting industrial units operating in Delhi’s industrial and redevelopment areas, around one-third have already shifted to Piped Natural Gas (PNG), officials in the Delhi Pollution Control Committee said. More have applied to shift to the cleaner fuel.

The shift to PNG from other polluting fuels such as coal, rubber and plastic would help bring down industrial pollution levels in the national Capital. A study by IIT Kanpur in 2016 stated that industries contribute around 10%-11% of the PM10 and PM2.5 load, apart from adding significantly to the levels of other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

“There are around 1,500 industrial units in the city’s industrial and redevelopment areas, which need to use fuel and hence trigger pollution. Of these, around 475 have already shifted to PNG, a much cleaner fuel, and hence would cause less pollution. There are several other industries such as packing units and electronics, which do not cause pollution,” said a senior official of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

As per the Master Plan of Delhi, industries are permitted only in industrial and redevelopment areas. There are 28 industrial areas and 22 redevelopment areas in the city. Any industry which operates outside these areas is illegal, irrespective of the fact whether they are polluting or not.

“Pipelines to supply PNG have been installed in all the industrial and redevelopment areas by Indraprastha Gas Limited, barring a few where work is going on in full swing. All industries would be converted to PNG before the winter 2018,” said the DPCC official.

While in some areas such as Okhla and Jhandewalan there are no polluting units, in other areas such as Wazirpur and Shahzada Bagh installation of pipelines need to be prioritised and expedited.

The Supreme Court-mandated panel Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday had asked the IGL officials to come up with deadlines for installing pipelines.

“To ensure that industries are not able to use the cheaper fuels even after PNG is supplied, we are also trying to ensure that while new IGL pipelines are installed, the old existing pipelines which were used for polluting fuels are dismantled,” said the DPCC official.

EPCA has also asked other gas supplying companies such as Adani Gas and Haryana City Gas to submit a list of the districts and towns where they are supplying PNG. Efforts are on to expedite the process to reach those areas in NCR districts where PNG hasn’t reached yet.

“We would meet senior officials of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board soon to hold discussions on how the process could be expedited,” said an EPCA member.

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