Final report by PPCB on management of scrap at Mandi Gobindgarh, district Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, 01/04/2021

  • 01/04/2021

Final report by the Punjab Pollution Control Board in the Original Application No. 924 of 2019 in the matter of Neeraj Goyal Vs State of Punjab dated 01/04/2021.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had taken cognizance of a complaint made by Neeraj Goyal regarding air pollution caused by burning of plastic, rubber and insulated copper coils attached with the scrap at Mandi Gobindgarh, district Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab.

A committee was constituted by the NGT comprising officials from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and Municipal Council, Mandi, Gobindgarh to look into the matter. The committee with the PPCB being the nodal agency had submitted five interim reports - the last one dated January 1, 2021. Thereafter, an action taken report was filed on March 5, 2021.

The PPCB in its final report among other things informed the NGT about the:

a) Conversion of industries from coal to PNG

239 number of industries operating in Mandi Gobindgarh area were using coal as fuel in their furnaces. Presently, 48 number of industries have successfully converted their re-heating furnace from coal to PNG and in addition to this 160 number of more industries have made agreement with the PNG provider and are in the process of shifting from coal to PNG. Further, the PPCB had issued show cause notices for cancellation of consent under the Air Act, 1981 to all the industries, who have failed to shift their units from coal to PNG till December 31, 2020. The All India Steel Re-Roller Association (AISRA) has requested the PPCB to extend the timeline upto June 30, 2021 as shifting of industries from coal to PNG involves high financial cost of Rs. 25-30 lakhs per unit and it would also take about 3 months time to switch to PNG by making necessary modifications in the existing industries.

b) Import of hazardous waste

Import of hazardous waste is regulated as per law and a mechanism is already in place to grant authorization for import of other waste after duly scrutinizing the documents and the inspection of the site in question at the level of regional offices of the PPCB. Non-recyclable hazardous waste was being scientifically disposed off at a designated place namely TSDF, Nimbua, Dera Bassi, District SAS Nagar, Punjab. The Air Pollution Control Device (APCD) dust of induction furnace units is being recycled by M/s Madhav Alloys Recycling unit at Amloh, district Fatehgarh Sahib for the recovery of zinc and the residue is used for landfilling purpose.

c) Burning of scrap

In order to contain the cause of air pollution arising from the burning of scrap, the PPCB vide office order no. 475 dated August 21, 2020 has cancelled all the one time authorizations granted before January 31, 2019 for import of iron and steel scrap and amended the procedure for obtaining one-time authorization under rule-13 to import other wastes under Schedule-III of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 of behalf of actual users. As of now, no burning activity of scrap is carried out in the area of Mandi Gobindgarh.