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Air pollution: HC seeks details from Gujarat on use of CNG, PNG

The bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and VD Nanavati also noted that the state had not appeared before the bench and recorded in its order that the court seeks to know from the state “its future action plan to curb the menace and the problem of air pollution that is being caused by use of coal and lignite”.

GPCB submitted that at 27 major places within Gujarat the total consumption of coal is 3,38,662.6961 MT per day and for that of lignite is 1,19,223.7997 MT a day, with major industrial units using coal for consumption. (Representational)

A division bench of the Gujarat High Court requested assistnace from state advocate general Kamal Trivedi while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) concerning air pollution on Friday and sought several details, including daily production, consumption and utilisation of CNG and PNG in the state, as well as the number of industries using CNG or PNG as fuel.

The bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and VD Nanavati also noted that the state had not appeared before the bench and recorded in its order that the court seeks to know from the state “its future action plan to curb the menace and the problem of air pollution that is being caused by use of coal and lignite”.

GPCB submitted that at 27 major places within Gujarat the total consumption of coal is 3,38,662.6961 MT per day and for that of lignite is 1,19,223.7997 MT a day, with major industrial units using coal for consumption. The bench inquired of the state’s plan to reduce the consumption of coal and lignite.

The bench recorded in its order, “We are informed that lignite is still worse than coal. If coal has created so much ecological problem, then why permit any industry to use even 1 MT of lignite per day? Why should lignite not be done away with at the earliest?”

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The court sought details from the state on how it proposes to proceed further in accordance with the National Coal Gasification Mission, as has been issued by the Ministry of Coal of GoI.

Party-in-person advocate Amit Panchal impressed before the bench that the state must come out with some policy in consultation with the GPCB or work out modalities to do away with coal and lignite in a phased manner and submitted that the state should make an endeavour to ensure that over a period of time, all the industries across the state of Gujarat switch over to CNG and PNG.

The court has sought the state’s response by March 25, when it is due to take up the matter for further hearing.

First published on: 12-03-2022 at 05:11 IST
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