Home / News / India /  Delhi industries using coal, unapproved fuels to shut down from Jan 1

In Delhi, industries using unapproved fuels including coal will be closed straightaway from January 1, and heavy fines will be imposed on them, said the Central government's air quality panel on Wednesday.

It said that the use of low-sulfur coal in thermal power plants is allowed in Delhi-NCR factories, according to the news agency PTI. 

An official of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said, "Pollution control authorities have been directed to close down industries and commercial establishments using unapproved fuels, including coal, without giving them any show cause notice."

"Maximum environmental compensation will be levied on them according to the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Boards," the official added.

However, the use of low-sulfur coal is also allowed in captive thermal power plants, the official clarified, saying "it could be used wherever the primary purpose is power generation".

Firewood and biomass briquettes can be used for religious purposes and cremation, and wood or bamboo charcoal can be used for tandoors and grills of hotels, restaurants, banquet halls (with emission control systems), and open eateries or dhabas, as per PTI reports. 

In an official statement, the CAQM stated the use of wood charcoal for cloth ironing is allowed.

Earlier in June, the commission had issued directions to ban the use of coal in industrial, domestic, and other miscellaneous applications in the entire Delhi-NCR region from January 1, 2023.

Around 1.7 million tonnes of coal is used annually in industrial applications in NCR, with about 1.4 million tonnes being consumed in six major industrial districts alone, PTI reported. 

The air quality panel had earlier also invited suggestions from the general public and experts in the field to find a permanent solution to the air pollution problem in Delhi-NCR. A large number of suggestions were related to the banning of coal.

After this, the CAQM constituted an expert group to examine and deliberate upon all such suggestions and proposals. In its report, the group strongly recommended phasing out heavily polluting fossil fuels like coal and mandating cleaner fuels to the extent possible.


(With PTI inputs)

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