Editorial: Clean & Green

The National Green Tribunal Friday directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure that States and Union Territories (UTs) ban the use of petcoke and furnace oil as fuels in industries and switch to cleaner alternatives.

After perusing a report filed by CPCB, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that some of States and UTs are not complying with the orders. The Supreme Court has banned the use of petroleum coke or petcoke — solid-carbon, coal-like material which results from oil refining — and furnace oil in the National Capital Region (NCR) and suggested similar steps in other states.

The tribunal was hearing pleas filed by Sumit Kumar and Amarjeet Kumar seeking a ban on the use of all forms of petcoke, as it emits fine particulate matter (PM) which is harmful to human health.

NGT said that orders of the tribunal be given effect and the CPCB ensure compliance by issuing such direction as may be necessary in exercise of its statutory power. The green panel directed the CPCB to file an action taken report within four months and posted the matter for next hearing on January 15, 2021.

The petition said the objection to the use of petcoke and furnace oil, which has already been banned in certain states, is causing of huge emission of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants.

An earlier report filed by CPCB said that use of petcoke and furnace oil can be allowed only in industries/ processes either as feed stock (Calcined petcoke units, Aluminum industries) or where they get absorbed along with product in manufacturing process (cement, Lime Kiln, calcium carbide industries).

As the country moves towards new normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing pollution and increasing usage of clean and green fuels should also be a priority.


NT Bureau