After exemptions, ban on diesel gensets to be enforced stringently

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) clarified that action can be taken against housing projects or commercial complexes other than those exempted by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (Epca), with regard to the use of diesel generator (DG) sets till November 30.

It will be applicable for cases where DG sets are used as a primary source of electricity despite having a regular power supply.

Epca on Wednesday exempted 19 residential and commercial complexes in Gurugram and Faridabad from the ban on diesel generator sets, till November 30. The Supreme Court-appointed Epca also granted permission to Information Technology (IT) and process industries to use diesel gensets as a secondary source of power.

“Even though exemptions are being given this year too, it has helped in bringing maximum housing projects under regular electricity supply connection,” said S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana State Pollution Control Board ( HSPCB). According to him, in the long run, the process has helped in streamlining measures required for controlling the emission of pollutants through excessive use of DG sets.

According to him, there were 209 complexes in 2019 which were dependent upon DG sets as the primary source of power. “This year the number has come down to 19. Given the short time frame till November 30 even these 19 residential and commercial complexes will no longer be dependent upon DG sets,” he said.

Officials clarified that no action will be taken against residential societies if they are dependent upon DG sets for an hour or two due to power cuts. “Providing continuous power supply without any disruption in Gurugram and Faridabad has been the target of the state to reduce pollutant emission through DG sets. If power is available then use of DG set will be limited. Due to unavoidable circumstances if there is a power cut and housing societies run DG sets then no action will be taken against them,” Narayanan said.

Till November 30, as per the letter issued by Bhure Lal, chairman, Epca, 14 residential complexes along with five other commercial complexes, including a mall in Gurugram, which are fully dependent on diesel gensets due to non-compliance of electrical inadequacies, have been granted an exemption.

“Epca has also exempted process industries and IT companies that run on servers and cannot afford a power break,” said Narayanan.

“These industries will have to maintain a logbook on the use of diesel gensets, which will be scrutinised fortnightly or monthly by the power department. Action will be taken if they fail to reproduce proper documents at the time of verification,” said Narayanan.

According to Narayanan, only those residential societies, commercial complexes or under-construction housing projects which are dependent upon DG sets as the primary source of power are exempted.

“The regional offices of pollution board in Gurugram and Faridabad have been directed to take action in those cases where they find that despite having electricity connection, any builder or industry is largely dependent upon the diesel genset to draw power supply. These can be large construction sites with irregular electricity connections and dependency on DG sets,” he said.

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