Several PSU giants including NTPC, Indian Oil Corp Ltd, BPCL and others have been fined a whopping Rs 400 crore since the start of this year by another government agency.
Several PSU giants including NTPC, Indian Oil Corp Ltd, BPCL and others have been fined a whopping Rs 400 crore since the start of this year by another government agency. The National Green Tribunal fined these companies to recover the cost of damage done to the environment in the last five years, according to a report by Motilal Oswal on Friday. In fact, the apex body for decisions on environmental concerns NGT had also levied Rs 400 crore fine on 608 ceramic manufacturers at Morbi, Gujarat for environmental damage.
According to the actions taken by NGT, BPCL and HPCL were charged Rs 67.5 crore and Rs 76.5 crore for creating “gas chamber” like conditions. Aegis logistics was charged the most at Rs 142 crore. The tribunal also recently asked CPCB to file an Action Taken Report (ATR) on restricting the use of petcoke and fuel oil by January next year to protect the environment.
Solution to India’s pollution problem
Natural gas may emerge as the chief weapon in NGT’s arsenal as it looks to make India green. The call for green India is also expected to help companies such as Petronet LNG which is one of the energy companies dealing in liquified natural gas, according to the report. “Natural gas is expected to be at the center of the fight against air pollution. We highlight Petronet LNG, GUJGA, GAIL, and GSPL as the biggest beneficiaries of these actions against industrial pollution (air),” it said.
A call for ban on polluting fuels has been gaining momentum, and the same may generate new demand for natural gas. The expected new demand is comparable to 16% of the total gas consumption in FY20. The rise in natural gas demand will be in addition to replacement demand for dirty fuels such as coal and other polluting fuels.
Coronavirus impact on natural gas
India’s natural gas production has nosedived during the ongoing financial year by 14.2% as compared to the 0.3% fall registered in the same corresponding period in the previous financial year. “Fall in production is mainly due to restricted/ no gas off take by consumers due to COVID-19 situation and shutdown at consumers’ end,” a separate report by CARE Ratings said on Thursday. Production was also hampered due to blockade by local people after Baghjan well blast amid rising environmental concerns.