Very difficult to grant further extension on DG set ban: EPCA tells Haryana

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Thursday told Haryana it will be “very difficult” to grant further extension for providing electricity connections to residential complexes and condominiums that fully or partly depend on diesel generators (DGs).

EPCA issued the clarification after the Haryana administration wrote to it, saying around 16,200 people in some residential complexes and condominiums in Gurgaon and Faridabad will be affected by the ban on diesel generators, as their developers or builders have not yet taken electricity connections.

A ban on the use of electricity generators, barring for essential services such as hospitals and railways, came into force on Thursday as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

In a letter to the additional chief secretary, Haryana Power department, EPCA head Bhure Lal said, “Last year, an affidavit was given by you confirming that all colonies will be connected to power grids before the onset of winters of 2020.”

“However, it was not done. In this circumstance, it will be very difficult for EPCA to grant further extension,” he said.

He, however, said that EPCA may consider any relaxation if the Haryana government gave a “more detailed and comprehensive affidavit laying down strict timelines” to connect the colonies to power grids.

EPCA said it can only consider giving any relaxation if the “affidavit is signed by the government, representatives of the colonies and builders”.

The Graded Response Action Plan — a set of anti-pollution measures followed in Delhi and its vicinity towns according to the severity of the situation — also came into force on Thursday.

It was notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2017 for implementation through the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.

The measures under GRAP include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees and stopping use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns poor.

When the situation turns “severe”, GRAP recommends closure of brick kilns, stone crushers and hot mix plants, sprinkling of water, frequent mechanised cleaning of roads and maximising power generation from natural gas.

The measures to be followed in the “emergency” situation include stopping entry of trucks in Delhi, ban on construction activities and introduction of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

EPCA, however, had earlier told Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh that they “should try and avert the need to take other emergency measures for pollution control as the economy is already under stress post-lockdown. Therefore, our combined effort is to ensure that there is no further disruption”.

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