NGT notice to Centre on plea seeking ban on petroleum coke

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New Delhi | Published: May 26, 2016 6:23:15 PM

The National Green Tribunal today sought response from the Centre on the plea of an environment activist who has sought ban on use of all forms of petroleum coke...

 Petcoke is a high calorific value solid fuel and is extensively used for power generation in various countries. (Reuters)Petcoke is a high calorific value solid fuel and is extensively used for power generation in various countries. (Representative picture: Reuters)

The National Green Tribunal today sought response from the Centre on the plea of an environment activist who has sought ban on use of all forms of petroleum coke, also called Petcoke, as it emits fine particulate matter (PM), which is harmful to human health.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of Coal, Environment Ministry and Central Pollution Control Board while seeking their replies in two weeks.

Petcoke is a high calorific value solid fuel and is extensively used for power generation in various countries.

The plea had sought direction to the Centre to issue appropriate “notification/order/direction” to all the state governments and project proponents to stop using all forms of petroleum coke which emit large amount of sulphur dioxide in the environment.

“Burning of Petcoke emits pollutants which impairs the functioning of upper respiratory system. It affects breathing, causes respiratory illness and lung cancer. Petcoke emits high level of PM2.5 and PM10 that are harmful to human health,” it had said, adding that “ban on Petcoke will reduce national smoke level and improve air quality.”

The petition filed by activist Pritam Singh had contended that demand and supply of Petcoke was increasing at a high rate due to its cheaper cost and better availability compared to coal.

“Petcoke is being consumed by both the private and public sector with a massive growth rate. In FY 2013-14, 2.13 million tonnes were used in public sector and 9.662 million tons were used by the private sector. However in FY 2014-15, 2.381 million tonnes were used in public sector and 12.027 million tonnes were used in the private sector.

“That approximately 5.81 million tonnes of petroleum coke were imported in the country in FY 2014-2013 as compared to 3.57 million tonnes in FY 2013-2014, thus having the growth rate of 62 per cent,” the plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, had said.

“Constitute the committee of independent experts to assess the situation and overall environment pollution and human health and other pollution caused due to the use of petroleum coke and to suggest the remedial measures thereto on account of loss of ecology, impact of pollution on natural resources, health of the people due to use of Petcoke,” the plea had sought.

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