Key Initiatives undertaken by the Indian Government towards Clearing the Air.
1. To give impetus to combat Air pollution, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has included ‘maintaining the quality of air’ as an activity relating to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which companies may undertake as a part of their CSR obligation under the Companies Act, 2013.
2. With a view to introduce cleaner fuels, reduce the toxicity of emissions which will in turn help in purifying air quality, the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB), has, in an Office Order dated 22.01.2019, notified the following list of fuels as ‘Approved Fuels’ under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981:
- Petrol (MS) including Branded MS (as per the Notification of Government of India as amended from time to time)
- Diesel (HSD) including branded HSD (as per the Notification of Government of India as amended from time to time)
- Kerosene (SKO) (as per the Notification of Government of India as amended from time to time)
- Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) / Propane / Butane
- Natural Gas / Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) / Piped Natural Gas (PNG) / LNG
- Aviation Turbine Fuel
- Firewood / Wood Charcoal
- All Types of bio fuel / Biogas
- Refuse Derived Fuel (From Waste to Energy Plants)
- Coal / Coke / Lignite
- Biomass / Agriculture refuse and / or briquettes made from Biomass made from biomass / agriculture refuse
- Dung Cake
- Waste suitable for co-processing in Cement Kilns approved by Central Pollution Control Board,
- LDO / LSHS / Naptha
- Hydrogen / Methane
3. Himachal Pradesh Government has renewed the approval for use of ‘Pet Coke’ and includes the use of ‘Coal’ as Approved Industrial Fuel. Further, industries must install all the air pollution control measures to achieve emissions as per the prescribed standards for Sulphur dioxide will (SO2) emission. Industries must conduct the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring by any Laboratory approved by Ministry of Environment and Forest (“MoEF”) every month and submit the results to the Pollution Control Board Office. [ Office Order dated 09.2018 page 6-7].
4. Delhi Pollution Control Committee notifies list of ‘Approved Fuels’, brings in cleaner fuels like BS-VI petrol and diesel, CNG, LPG, aviation turbine fuel and Biogas. As per Section 19(3) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, “if the State Government, after consultation with the State Board, is of opinion that the use of any fuel, other than an approved fuel, in any air pollution control area or part thereof, may cause or is likely to cause air pollution, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, prohibit the use of such fuel in such area or part thereof with effect from such date (being not less than three months from the date of publication of the notification) as may be specified in the notification.”
In the light of Section 19(3), the Delhi Pollution Control Board (DPCC) has released the list of “Approved Fuels”, which are as follows:
- Petrol (BS VI with 10 ppm Sulphur)
- Diesel (BS VI with 10 ppm Sulphur)
- Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
- Natural Gas/Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
- Aviation Turbine Fuel
- Firewood for cremations and for other religious purposes, Wood Charcoals for restaurants and eateries and for ironing clothes
- Refused Derived Fuels (Applicable to Waste to Energy Plants)
- Clean Fuels as notified by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi/Government of India
- Besides above, Coal with low Sulphur (less than 0.4%) is permitted for use in the Thermal Power Plants only.
- All other fuels will be deemed “unapproved” and so disallowed for use of NCT of Delhi.
- Existing Industries/Units were required to convert/ switch over from their existing fuels to the above-mentioned Approved Fuels within September, 2018.
5. The Government has fixed the Bharat Stage emission standards to regulate emission of smoke, vapour, from motor vehicles. The current Bharat Stage BS -IV is proposed to be replaced by BS-VI from 1st April 2020 (which is currently only applicable to Delhi). [ Source Supreme Court in C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others in judgment dated 24.10.2018
6. Transport Department, Delhi has banned 15-year-old Petrol vehicles and 10-year-old Diesel vehicles from plying in streets of Delhi. These vehicle account of a very high level of Air pollution. Source : Supreme Court Judgment in C. Mehta Vs Union of India & Others dated 29th October, 2018
7. The States of Odisha and Karnataka has imposed a ban on the use of all kinds of party poppers, except those using compressed air as the charge material and soft papers as streamers, as they are harmful to human health and environment.
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