In order to find a permanent solution to the air pollution problem in the Delhi-NCR region, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has provided guidelines to enforce a ban on the use of coal in industrial, domestic and other applications, PTI reported.
The ban is to come into play from 1 January 2023.
"Pollution control authorities have been directed to close down industries and commercial establishments using unapproved fuels, including coal, without giving them any show cause notice," a CAQM official was quoted as saying by Mint.
"Maximum environmental compensation will be levied on them according to the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Boards," they added.
Previously, in areas having PNG (piped natural gas) infrastructure, the CAQM had issued an order on 3 June to ban the use of coal from 1 October. The 1 January ban is for areas where the PNG supply is still not available.
The use of low-sulfur coal in thermal power plants, however, will continue to be permitted.
Nevertheless, what the CAQM panel's order effectively means is that the use of coal as fuel shall be banned across the Delhi-NCR region from 1 January.
The expert group within the panel, the PTI report added, has urged the phasing out of heavily polluting fossil fuels like coal and switching to the usage cleaner fuels as soon as possible.
(With inputs from PTI and Mint.)