Industrial units have urged the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR & Adjoining Areas to reconsider its directions on banning diesel generators in the region, industry association CII said on Wednesday.
“With the deadline for the ban on diesel gensets (DG sets) and shift to piped natural gas (PNG) generators approaching, the CII has requested CAQM to reconsider direction 54 (similarly directions - 55, 56 and 57 in other NCR areas) to address the practical challenges faced while complying with the order,” it said in a statement.
In an official representation to the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, the industry body, on behalf of industry members of Delhi NCR, suggested that the timeline for converting to PNG/ CNG or dual hybrid technology and retro-fitting emission control devices be extended to a minimum time of one year, it added.
According to the CAQM’s order of February 8, 2022, use of diesel generators will be illegal in NCR from October 1, 2022, ahead of the winter pollution season. The existing DG Sets must be converted to Hybrid/ Dual Fuel mode (with 70 per cent gas-based fuel and 30 per cent diesel) and such DG Sets will also have to be equipped with Retrofitted Emission Control Devices (RECD). Alternatively, only CNG/ PNG gensets are to be used by industrial units from October 1, 2022.
Fuel kit shortage
The CII Haryana Chairman Rohit Relan said, “However, very few factories have been able to shift to PNG-based generators, as a comprehensive pipeline network is still underway and supply to units is limited to a few industrial areas in Delhi-NCR. Besides, there is an acute shortage of dual fuel kits and RECDs, which is posing a big challenge for manufacturing units.”
Missing norms for retrofitted dual fuel kits may pose safety challenges. Industry, especially MSMEs, are stretched thin to mitigate the losses from the pandemic due to added capital investment. Thus, huge installation costs add to the list of deterrents to the execution of these orders, he rued.
Sharing the industry’s viewpoints, CII Delhi Chairman Madhav Singhania said: “Relaxations are a must under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), till appropriate affordable technology becomes available for all manufacturing units . The need of the hour is for states to ensure 24x7 power supply to industrial areas, which will automatically reduce the dependence of units on DG sets.”
Moreover, a robust gas distribution infrastructure will ensure units are eager to convert their DG sets to Hybrid Mode. CII has urged the CAQM to relook its order and give the industry more time until the requisite ecosystem has been established for the industries to comply with the norms prescribed, he added.
CAQM guidelines directly impact the construction and real estate sector, said the Convenor of CII Delhi’s sub-committee on Real Estate, Urban Development and Infrastructure, Harsh V Bansal.
Under GRAP, construction activities have to come to a halt when the air quality deteriorates. As a result, the industry faces financial constraints, thereby, causing high attrition among the workforce, ultimately stalling projects, and impacting the economy. A better strategy is required to address this challenge, he added.