Environment ministry's message to genset diesel engine-makers
Yet again a handful of manufacturers of diesel engines for generator sets have succeeded in getting more time to comply with emission standards. The norms were notified by the Union ministry of environment and forests (moef) in 2002, after it had dithered on the issue for a long time. While the industry was originally supposed to have fallen in line by January 1, 2003, the extended deadline for it to adhere to air and noise emissions standards was July 1, 2003. Now, the Central Pollution Control Board (cpcb) has recommended to the MoEF that the manufacturers be granted one more year's time.
Rallying for extension of the deadline, the section of the industry convinced the MoEF and CPCB that even the second deadline was not realistic. The ministry will soon be amending the Environment (Protection) Second Amendment Rules, 2002, in effect giving the genset diesel engine-makers a licence to continue polluting the environment.
The move comes subsequent to a meeting on June 6 between diesel engine manufacturers and the CPCB to evolve a consensus within the industry. It is noteworthy that though some manufacturers wanted a wider time-frame, others were ready to conform to the 2002 rules (see: 'Spanner in the works', May 31, 2003).
"As per our recommendations, makers of diesel engines up to a capacity of 19 kilowatts (kw) are being given an extension till July 1, 2004. Those in the category of 19-50 kw and 50-176 kw will get till January 1, 2004," a cpcb official informed Down To Earth . He added that though the board was not in favour of taking the step, it had done so at the behest of the MoEF.
Ironically, some members of the industry itself are upset over the move. These include the Pune-based Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited (koel). "The MoEF wants to protect small-scale industries which make sub-standard products," alleges koel's spokesperson. The Union minister of environment and forests, T R Baalu, could not be contacted as he was out of town. Efforts to elicit a response from moef joint secretary C Vishwanath too proved futile. And Nalini Bhatt, director (scientific), moef, was also unavailable for comment.
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