The hearing on the matter proposed by the advocate Amit Panchal as a party-in-person will be conducted by a bench of Gujarat High Court on October 14, 2021.

Considering the emerging coal shortage and high alert on outages as more than half of the coal plants receive alerts of energy crisis, a petitioner, in a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) before the Gujarat High Court indicated in an October 11, 2021 affidavit, that the coal crisis is the perfect reason for the court to issue directions on the mandatory use of natural gas in all the industries. 

Mandate use of natural gas in industries, says PIL in Gujarat HC on rising coal depletion

The party-in-person, advocate Amit Panchal who filed the PIL spotlighted the degraded air quality in Gujarat due to excessive use of coal and lignite by the air pollution-causing industries and the requirement of adapting permissible pollution standards. He sought the mandated use of natural gas in industries on October 12, 2021, as a step to transform and switch to a less pollution-causing fuel. 

Panchal mentioned that the contribution of PNG and LNG in cutting down air pollution is recognized by other states. So much so, the PNG use in all the industries has been made mandatory in Delhi-NCR. He said that the looming pollution levels in the state signify the importance and the need of PNG/LNG in industries with the view of reducing air pollution and switching to a better alternative. 

He further added that the use of coal in an “unsustainable” manner has resulted in a noticeable increase in air pollution. The country’s supply of coal is reportedly expected to last just a few days. India is on the edge of coal outage and ultimately will lead to an energy crisis if the appropriate supply of coal is not administered. He said that the current scenario of impending coal crisis is a “fit case” for the Gujarat High Court to issue a mandamus making it compulsory to use PNG/CNG for manufacturing purposes in all the industrial units.  

The hearing on the matter proposed by Panchal will be conducted by a bench of Gujarat High Court on October 14, 2021. 

India is witnessing an energy crisis as most of the coal plants are on high alert for blackouts. The country is flooded with rising demand for electricity supply; however, on the contrary, the coal supply is observing a substantial shortage. 

Reportedly, the coal power stations in India have an average of 4 days’ worth of coal piled up at the end of September 2021. 

Through an affidavit dated October 6, 2021, the GPCB (Gujarat Pollution Control Board) filed its reply to Panchal’s petition stating that not only the GPCB but the state as well as central government are also concerned about the air pollution caused by the industries and in that view, “a long-term measure has been adopted for discovering permanent solution. 

In order to deal with the imminent pollution in Gujarat, GPCB has sketched out an action plan which includes measures like restricting vehicles which are older than 15 years from plying on the road, installing air pollution control gadgets and adopting cleaner technology in brick kilns.” 

Panchal responded to GPCB’s measures saying that it has not helped in controlling or cutting down the level of air pollution in Gujarat.