The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Central government to relax its notification banning the use of pet-coke and furnace oil in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan as it permitted pet coke to be used an an ingredient by the cement and lime industry.
In pursuance to the top court’s October 24 order banning the use of pet-coke and furnace oil in NCR region of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, the Ministry of Environment and Forest had on November 15 asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ban the use of pet-coke and furnace oil in the area. The CPCB on November 15 itself issued the notification banning the use of both.
However, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said that the exemption on the use of pet-coke as an ingredient would be subject to the regulations to be framed by the Environment Ministry, and Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni assured the court that these would be framed in four weeks time.
The court said that the issue of air pollution affected all the states in equal measure, thus the emission norms to be fixed by the Ministry for the two fuels would be applicable across the country.