NGT Asks CPCB To Conduct Further Study On Whether FCBTK Technology Could Be Allowed In Non-NCR Region Of Haryana

Radhika Roy
7 Feb 2020 1:55 PM GMT
NGT Asks CPCB To Conduct Further Study On Whether FCBTK Technology Could Be Allowed In Non-NCR Region Of Haryana
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The National Green Tribunal directed the Central Pollution Control Board to conduct further study on whether FCBTK technology could be allowed in non-NCR region of Haryana by using agri-residue by monitory their impact on ambient air and the loss of top soil in non-NCR region of Haryana. 

Fixed Chimney Bull's Trench Kiln (FCBTK) technology is a continuous, moving fire kiln in which the fire is always burning and moving forward in the direction of air flow due to the draught provided by a chimney. 

On 30.12.2015, CPCB had directed the adoption of the Zig Zag Technology to combat air pollution in NCR. Similar directions had been passed by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) to the NCR states, in light of the CPCB directions. However, without any study or safeguards for the norms under the Air Act, 1981, the Food and Supply Department of State of Haryana allowed the conventional brick kilns to operate in non-NCR region, contrary to the decision of State of Haryana itself.

On 07.01.2019, the Tribunal stayed the operation of the order of Director, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Govt. of Haryana, Chandigarh regarding the extension of the time limit for adoption of Zig Zag Technology for running of the brick kilns beyond the NCR area up to 31.07.2019, due to want of any scientific study and lack of safeguards on Precautionary Principle.

On 21.02.2019, the Tribunal rejected the contention that the order was only for non-NCR where the directions of CPCB or EPCA did not apply. The Tribunal also held that even in non-NCR, Standards of Ambient Air Quality laid down under Section 17(g) of the Air Act were required to be followed. The Order of the Tribunal also referred to certain judgements of the Supreme Court wherein either the closure or shifting of brick kiln industries was directed, or their operation was contingent on the conduct of studies with respect to their impact on human population and vegetation.

On 04.04.2019, an affidavit had been filed by the State of Haryana which did not show that any study had been undertaken; it only stated that CPCB had proposed for convention brick kilns to continue as the alternative would lead to financial hardship and inflation in the market.

Subsequently, vide multiple orders, the Tribunal raised issues regarding the furnishing of reports on behalf of CPCB as the same would "enable this Tribunal to assess the information whether such brick kilns can be allowed by using crop residue or otherwise, apart from the brick kilns operating by using zig zag technology" [Order dated 30.07.2019].

Accordingly, further report dated 22.01.2019 had been filed by the CPCB. However, the Tribunal has noted that "the report does not mention the carrying capacity of the area in question i.e. non-NCR area in the State of Haryana." It was further noted that the observation and conclusion drawn in the report was non-conclusive and could not be relied upon "in terms of small data base of sample size and number of days for which the sampling has been carried out. Besides, more brick kilns in each category should have been covered to avoid statistical errors in decision making."
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