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'Can’t Compromise Ease of Breathing For Ease of Business': Green Panel to Meet Delhi Industries

The EPCA has called a meeting specifically for Delhi industries to discuss the progress from shifting from coal to natural gas.

Updated:December 8, 2018, 10:40 PM IST
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'Can’t Compromise Ease of Breathing For Ease of Business': Green Panel to Meet Delhi Industries
Representative Image (Photo: PTI)
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New Delhi: Supreme Court-appointed EPCA will call a meeting specifically for industries in Delhi to discuss the progress from shifting from coal to natural gas, as it noted that the "ease of breathing" cannot be compromised for the "ease of business".

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) also underlined that the biggest challenge in crackdown on illegal industries causing pollution is that upon shutdown, they shift to non-conforming areas and continue polluting activities in other parts of the city.

"As we crack down on industries and industrial areas, they all move to the non-conforming areas or illegal areas where nobody can control them and under the law, the DPCC cannot even enter the area.

"If we crack down on Delhi industries, they move over to neighbouring areas. We have to find a comprehensive solution to it and make sure illegal industry is not allowed anywhere. It is also one of the biggest challenges," an EPCA member said.

EPCA member Sunita Narain said various coal industries, and oil and gas companies that there is a need to find a better fuel which is cleaner "but there is a price for it that has to be paid".

"We cannot compromise ease of breathing for ease of business. We cannot survive this. Either we have to find a better fuel or we need to find ways to subsidise cleaner fuel," Narain said.

The EPCA has called a meeting specifically for Delhi industries to discuss the progress from shifting from coal to natural gas.

"We need to understand how they moving, what is their economics, who is not moving (to natural gas)," an EPCA member said.

On Friday, EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said the green panel sealed last week 140 units that were dealing in tar oil, rubber oil and synthetic engine oil.

The representatives of the industries blamed vehicles for causing greater pollution to which chest specialist Arvind Kumar, who is also an EPCA member, lashed out, saying if the consequences of pollution were known, this "whole discussion will pale into insignificance".

"The PM2.5 can hamper brain development by 10-20 per cent and we are going to make our next generation retarded because of our pleasures that is adding to air pollution," he rued.

"Evidence is now emerging that heart attacks, brain attacks are linked to air pollution. The WHO has called it second tobacco epidemic and if we don't control this menace, it would threaten our very existence," he said.

"...If we don't tackle air pollution on an immediate priority basis, we will not be here to tackle it. It isn't an elective issue we are discussing, it is a question of our survival," Kumar added.

Delhi has been battling alarming levels of pollution for nearly two months with the air quality hovering between "very poor" and "severe", and slipping into "poor" on better days.

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