The industrial sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region, the Commission for Air Quality Management observed on Tuesday as it directed switching over of all industries in the capital to Piped Natural Gas (PNG).
The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas reviewed the progress of switching over of industries operating in Delhi to PNG during a meeting, which was attended by representatives of the city government, the GAIL and the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).
The commission, headed by former chief secretary of Delhi M M Kutty, directed IGL to ensure supply of piped natural gas to all identified industries in Delhi by January 31, 2021.
It also directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to inspect and identify the industries using unapproved fuels and to take stringent penal action in case of non-compliances.
"GAIL and DPCC have been asked to provide all the required assistance," the commission said.
Around 1,644 industrial units spread across 50 industrial areas in Delhi have been identified to switch over to PNG.
"Though a sizeable number of industries are using PNG, the commission stressed the need to switch over to PNG by all identified industries in Delhi considering the fact that industrial sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region.
"IGL and GAIL were impressed upon to complete the pipeline network, metering and associated infrastructure," the commission said.
The IGL, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the Delhi government were also asked to work in close coordination with the industrial units so as to target the completion of infrastructure work and switch over to PNG by January 31, 2021.
The 20-member commission on air quality management in Delhi and the NCR was formed by the Ministry of Environment on November 5, within a week of issuing an ordinance to set it up.