Air shed management is far more complexedissue compared to water shed management because of the various environmentaland climatic conditions. Therefore, an integrated approach is required toinvolve all concerned stakeholders through intense engagement with an objectiveto design market oriented solutions. This would ensure the actions will be moresustainable and self-sufficient.
There have been various actionable plans thathave been designed by various institutions, however, this initiative would aimto create required synergy and build a consensus amongst the stakeholders todrive actions on-ground. The initiativeaims towards:· Developing an integrated approach that bringstogether policy makers, industry, academia, community and civil society· Building consensus and get buy-in fromstakeholders on actions for improving air quality· Delivering voluntary commitments fromstakeholders towards reducing air pollution· Influencing adherence to existing policies andadvocacy towards newer policiesThe task force on Clean Fuel has adopted thestructured approach for identifying key issues and possible solutions foraddressing the polluting fuels and combustion sources of emissionsCombustionsources contribute the most to air-quality in Delhi’s air-shed. Sourceapportionment study reveals that 62% contributions to PM 2.5 arise fromcombustion sources, including 100% contribution to NOx emissions from thecombustion sources (Mukesh Sharma & Dikshit, 2016). Healthimpacts and exposure to pollution are also important criteria, for instance,most harmful exposures are observed on the motorable roads with heavy traffic.
Characteristics of PM from different source are also important, for instance,coal and diesel are major contributors of toxic PM. It is observed that the annualaverage PM reduction of 74% will be required to meet the air quality standardsin Delhi. As a result, incremental actions would not have any impact onair-pollution and comprehensive sets of actions are urgently required. Thekey sub-sectors for the task force on clean fuel and proposed solutions forthem are elaborated under the subsequent sub sections.
Highly polluting fuels1 such as petroleum coke (PC) and furnace oil (FO) are used byindustrial units, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in thecountry. Even some categories of waste such as tyre oil and used lubricants,which doesn’t fall under approved list of fuel (for their use) by regulatoryauthorities, are used as source of energy in some industrial units. Importsof PC has reached 14 million tonne in 2016-17 (Department of Commerce- GoI, 2017)which is a matter of concern. Countries like the USA and China have banned importof PC. As per the DPCC notification under the Air (Prevention & Control ofPollution) Act, use of PC is banned in Delhi2(DPCC, 1996).
The ban on these fuels has further been extended by Supreme Court of India, tothe neighbouring states of NCR region, and the sale, distribution and use ofpet coke and furnace oil is prohibited in NCR from 1st Nov 2017. Also,it has been assessed by IOCL and was noted by the Task force that removal ofSulphur from PC/FO is not cost-effective. The estimated cost for production of5000 ppm FO is around INR 40 per litre whereas the cost of production for BS IVDiesel (50 ppm) is around INR 30 per litre (IOCL, 2017). In addition,it was reported that no commercially viable technology is available fordesulfurization of FO from current sulphur levels of 3% (by weight) to 500 ppm(See Annex 1). Asthe use of PC and FO is already prohibited in Delhi NCR, it is recommended thatfuel substitution is facilitated by making sure that alternate fuel is availableand fiscal instruments are utilised to provide a policy push towards cleanerfuels. 1These are refineryby-products; with high Sulphur-content ranging 25,000 ppm; which directlycontribute to the particulate matter2 Fuel Oil/ LDO/ LSHS with lowsulphur (S-1.8%)