HC asks CPCB to file affidavit on use of fuel in gasifiers
News Credit (unedited)- TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Monday asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to state on affidavit about its stand where the ceramic industrial units could function on modified coal-based gasifiers, which could bring down pollution level.
The court sought explanation from CPCB on its communiqué to Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) on October 11, 2012, that the ceramic units mitted could be perrun on coal furnaces provided that they modified it to bring the pollution level down to zero discharge.
Two months ago, the HC ordered for closure of all ceramic units that function on coal-based furnaces as per the order passed by CPCB to GPCB. This order passed on August 23, 2012, said that such gasifiers should be run only on natural gas. The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Babubhai Saini cited this August order to seek court direction to bring pollution level down by closing the industries in Morbi.
Morbi’s industries association – the Morbi Industrial Green Environment Services Co-op Society Ltd – filed a new petition and placed on record the second communiqué from CPCB. Their counsel Shalin Mehta and Pritesh Khambholja argued that the petitioner never conveyed to the court that CPCB had no issues if the industrial units functioned on modified coal gasifiers. The lawyers also stated that the ceramic industry in north Gujarat gets natural gas at a cheaper rate, but the imported gas provided to Morbi industrial cluster by GSPC is very costly.
The association’s lawyers also stated that the industrial units’ applications for no-objection certificates are pending with GPCB, and it did not conduct inspection in this regard.
On behalf of GPCB, additional advocate general Tushar Mehta submitted that the board did not inspect the units due to pendency of this PIL.
After hearing the association’s case, the bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala sought explanation from the central board by Thursday over its second communiqué by which it permitted GPCB to function the ceramic units on modified coal furnaces.