Delhi may have cleaned up its act by banning coal, but it is allowed in the rest of National Capital Region (NCR). Coal-based industries are still considered a major source of pollution in the region, highlights State of India’s Environment 2021, a report released by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Thursday.
The report states the share of industries using coal especially in Ghaziabad and Panipat, was found to be 86 per cent and 56.2 per cent, respectively, which could be a lead factor behind the high PM2.5 and PM10 levels in the region.
The assessment, carried out in the seven major industrial centres in NCR —Ghaziabad, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Alwar and Bhiwadi — was carried out in 2020 to identify industrial pollution hotspots and the major air polluting industrial sectors. The study found that coal was the most consumed fuel in all seven districts, with around 1.4 million tonnes of coal being used annually in the industries. The second most consumed fuel was agro-waste.
“We are still way behind in bringing in fuel switch in the whole of Delhi-NCR and coal is still the king of fuels for industries,” the report states. It also calculated the chimney-based industrial pollution load of different districts to find the industrial hotspots and their share in industrial air pollution in a district.
“The findings clearly highlight the industrial areas and sectors that the authorities need to focus on to bring down pollution levels in these major industrial districts,” it says.