EPCA asks coal firms to curb entry of fuel into Delhi
Even as coal has been banned as an approved fuel for usage in Delhi industries, tonnes of it is still making its way into the national capital from as far off as the Unites States and Indonesia. In a recent meeting held last week, the Supreme Court mandated body Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has raised this concern to Coal India and other government bodies, asking them to curb the entry into Delhi and find solutions to prevent its import. Industries in Delhi have time till September 30 to switch to cleaner options like CNG and PNG among others. The usage of coal was banned by the DPCC through a notification which was released on June 29. While the notification stated that industries in Delhi had 90 days to switch to approved fuels, it also mentioned that the usage of coal would only be allowed in thermal plants and if it had a sulphur content of 0.4% or less. In the meeting held last week, EPCA said that it had recently been informed that high quantities of coal was entering Delhi, which was being importer from Indonesia and the US. The coal was of such an inferior quantity that it has sulphur levels as high as 10%, officials said. “We have received multiple reports of coal entering Delhi and the quality is so inferior that it could lead to high pollution levels on usage. We need to devise a mechanism to stop it from entering Delhi and if possible, identify it at the entry to India itself,” said Sunita Narain, a member of EPCA. Narain said EPCA has suggested blacklisting Delhi as a destination, once the consignment arrives in India. When contacted, DPCC said that industries in Delhi had time till the end of the month to switch to clean options, after which violators would be shut down.