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Pollution panel likely to take call on exempting diesel gensets on Oct 24

October 19, 2019 04:56 AM


Sonali Verma

Gurugram : The Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) is likely to decide on October 24 about the exemptions from the ban on diesel generators in Gurugram on high pollution days, said officials of the Supreme Court-appointed body on Friday.

On Friday, members of the EPCA held a meeting with officials of state governments, who had asked that cities with inadequate power infrastructure and a high dependency on diesel generators be exempted from the ban which should be enforced on days when the air quality is “very poor” and “severe” as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap).

The Haryana government had, in a letter dated October 11, asked the EPCA to exempt certain residential and commercial areas of the city, particularly Sector 58 and beyond, from the ban on diesel generators. Noting that the ban would have a “scaling and a massive impact on the supply of power to lakhs of consumers”, the superintendent (power), the government of Haryana, had sought six months to provide connections to users dependent on diesel generators.

EPCA members said that the meeting on Friday was convened to discuss why the governments are failing to comply with the directions. According to officials present at the meeting, state governments have been asked to submit an affidavit, detailing the reasons why the ban on the use of diesel generators is not feasible in certain cities, including Gurugram.

“The EPCA has sought detailed information from the state government on why they have failed to provide electricity connections to residents of Gurugram. This had to be submitted as an affidavit,” Bhure Lal, chairman, EPCA, said, adding that a decision would be taken on October 24 — the day of the counting of votes for the state assembly elections. He said that the ban on diesel generators stands valid until a decision on exemptions is taken.

Officials of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) said that EPCA heard the issues that would arise if the ban is implemented and that they have been asked to submit an affidavit detailing them.

“Lakhs of people stand to be affected if the ban is implemented. We will, along with other departments of the state government, be submitting an affidavit in around four to five days to the EPCA,” said Sanjiv Chopra, chief engineer, DHBVN. However, he added that the discom is deliberating measures to be taken to comply with the ban.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Thursday, had dismissed a petition by the DHBVN seeking relief from the ban on diesel generators in the city. “If the DHBVN cannot supply electricity 24x7 as per the EPCA order, it is for them to find out ways and means within the purview of the law. This cannot be the ground to use diesel generator sets in violation of the air quality protection norms. Citizens are entitled to breathe in fresh air,” the bench had said, dismissing the petition

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