Lukewarm response to piped natural gas switchover by Faridabad factories : The Tribune India

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Lukewarm response to piped natural gas switchover by Faridabad factories

Lukewarm response to piped natural gas switchover by Faridabad factories

A factory emitting fumes in an industrial areas in Faridabad. File



Tribune News Service

Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, August 31

The response to adopting the piped natural gas (PNG) as the main fuel by industrial and commercial units here has been poor, as only a handful of the units have switched over to cleaner energy, required for the compliance of the air quality management in the National Capital Region (NCR).

A little above 2 per cent of the units have gone for the PNG connection so far in this industrial hub.

“As the graded response action plan (GRAP) is set to come into force from October 1 ,under which the diesel-operated gen-sets will get banned, not many have got switched over or have applied for gas,” said sources in the district administration.

Govt should give financial aid

The rising cost of gas has been a hurdle. The move is impractical and an economic disaster. Shifting to PNG is difficult unless supported financially or heavily subsidised. The govt should set up a power plant to ensure round-the-clock supply during the winters. —An entrepreneur, ballabgarh ACP

Demand notification

We demand the notification of the subsidy scheme for conversion. Fifty per cent subsidy in cost and 50 per cent cut in the GST is the need of the hour. —Rajiv Chawla, Chairman, integrated association of micro, Small and medium enterprises of India

With a total of around 450 PNG connections in the industry sector, only 50 units have got or applied for gas supply for generators till date, it was revealed. The city has over 25,000 industrial and commercial units. Emissions from industries using polluting fuels like coal and diesel oils have adverse impact on air quality in the NCR and adjoining areas, shifting of industries to the PNG or cleaner fuels has also been a priority for the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), says an order issued on June 2.

“The units shall completely switch over to the PNG or biomass fuels, latest by September 30, 2022, for industries in areas in the NCR where the PNG supply is available and by December 31, 2022, for industries in areas where supply is not available. “The industries shall be closed down and not permitted to operate in case of non-compliance,” it was stated.

Describing the conversion cost as unbearable, an entrepreneur said the rising cost of gas had been a hurdle. The move is not only impractical but could be an economic disaster, he said, adding that changing over to the PNG under the given conditions was difficult unless supported financially or heavily subsidised. Adding that additional investment between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 crore per unit was required, he said the government should set up a power plant to ensure round the clock supply during the winters.

Rajiv Chawla, chairman, Integrated Association of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of India (IAMSME), has demanded the notification of the subsidy scheme for conversion. Fifty per cent subsidy in cost and 50 per cent cut in the GST is the need of the hour, he said.

Smita Kanodia, regional officer, State Pollution Control Board, said a reminder regarding the changeover to the PNG by the due date had been issued and defaulters might face action as per the provisions. The GRAP is imposed every year in the NCR to curb air pollution as the air quality dips to “very poor” and “hazardous” category in the period between October and February.

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