Delhi Industries Asked To Switch Over To Piped Natural Gas By January-End To Reduce Air PollutionPollution In Delhi. (Representative Image) (Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

All the industrial units spread across 50 areas in Delhi have been directed to switch over to Piped Natural Gas (PNG) by 31 January next year. This move is aimed at improving the city's air quality index which has been deteriorating regularly.

Considering the fact that the industrial sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the Commission for Air Quality management has issued notices to about 1,644 such industrial units which are running in different areas in Delhi.

Though a sizeable number of industries are using PNG, the Commission stressed the need for all identified industries in Delhi to switch to PNG.

Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) were impressed upon to complete the pipeline network, metering and associated infrastructure.

"IGL, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Delhi government were also asked to work in close coordination with the industrial units so as to target completion of infrastructure works and complete switch over to PNG, by all the identified industrial units in Delhi, by January 31, 2021," said a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The DPCC was also directed to inspect and identify the industries using unapproved fuels and to take stringent penal action in case of non-compliance.

The air quality of the national capital has been deteriorating continuously and remained in the 'very poor' category with overall AQI of 373 recorded on Tuesday by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) under the Ministry of Earth Science.

"The overall air quality has deteriorated to the higher end of the very poor category as forecast. Surface-level winds are low and westerly. Surface winds are likely to further slowdown and surface inversion is likely to form," SAFAR said.

"Under the calm wind-cold conditions, fog formation is likely in the region. This would be mainly radiative fog as a result of locally generated favourable weather conditions and may not persist longer. Slowing of dispersion owing to low ventilation is forecasted for the next two days."

Hence, SAFAR said, AQI is forecasted to further deteriorate to the higher end of the "very poor" category by December 23 and December 24. Quite a few regions may even experience severe AQI for a shorter time period, especially during early morning.

"Secondary particulate formation mechanism (which rapidly multiplies particulate pollution) is forecasted not to be triggered at present."

According to SAFAR, the concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 379 and 215 respectively.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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