AHMEDABAD: Amid high volatility, rising inflation forecasts and the recent second rate increase by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian equity markets saw a sharp correction on Friday. The BSE Sensex fell by 1,016.34 points to close at 54,303.44. However, despite the sharp correction, some of Gujarat companies shone, with their market capitalization rising by Rs 3.51 lakh crore from the peak of October 19, 2021. Adani Group companies including Adani Enterprises Limited, Adani Power, Adani Green Energy and Adani Total Gas along with Gujarat Fluorochemicals Limited were among the companies which posted the highest growth in market capitalization. Among the others which performed well were the PSUs GNFC, GSFC, GMDC, and AIA Engineering. "Gujarat-based companies showed tremendous growth in the past year, as most big corporations here are in the energy sector. Stocks in the energy, oil and gas sectors are outperforming the rest backed by high demand and prices. Therefore, even though the market indices fell, companies here were able to maintain growth," said Hitesh Somani, senior technical research expert. The total market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies was at a record level of Rs 274.70 lakh crore on October 19, 2021, when the markets touched their all-time high. However, continuous selling pressure resulted in the m-cap plunging to Rs 252.10 lakh crore. "High inflation, rising interest rates and the Russia-Ukraine war have led to high volatility in global markets. Since October 2021, FIIs have sold more than Rs 3 lakh crore from Indian equities. Even then, Gujarat companies have outperformed others," Somani said. Since the peak of October 19, 2021, the Nifty and Sensex have fallen nearly 12% and the Bank Nifty is more than 13% down. "Overall market capitalisation of listed companies decreased by 8%. This indicates that certain stocks which are not in the basket of Sensex and Nifty performed well even in such conditions," said a city-based analyst.
VADODARA: Vadodara Gas Ltd (VGL) raised the tariff of domestic piped natural gas (PNG) in the city for the second time since April this year. The company will now charge PNG at Rs 47.15 from earlier Rs 43.7 per unit. In April 22, it had hiked prices from Rs 35.65 to Rs 43.7 per unit. VGL, however, claimed that its gas was still the cheapest per unit in the state by at least around Rs 8 to Rs 14 per unit as compared to other major city gas companies across Gujarat. VGL sources said that the consistent rise has been due to the lower supply of administrative price mechanism (APM) gas in the past as well as the rise in the prices of APM gas. The price of APM gas has been raised from $6.14 to $8.05 per metric million British thermal units.
A committee, constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has found that hazardous chemicals were disposed of “intentionally” in a drain at Sachin Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in Surat that killed six persons in January after inhaling toxic gas.Illegal disposal of the hazardous Sodium Hydrosulphide (NaHS) was “deliberate and engineered act in conspiracy to save huge money” so as to avoid payment of more than Rs 1 crore in incineration cost that would have been incurred had the waste been disposed of in a proper manner, noted the committee, formed to investigate the incidence of alleged illegal discharge of chemical waste. The report was submitted to NGT on May 31 and made public on June 3.The NGT had, in January, constituted a nine-member joint committee chaired by retired Justice BC Patel to ascertain causes and authorities responsible for the damage to life and environment, compensation to victims, restitution of the environment and the cost involved, and remedial measures to prevent recurrence.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨The committee found that between November 11, 2021 and December 31, 2021, five tankers of NaHS were disposed of “in flagrant violation” of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules. With respect to the Sachin GIDC mishap case, the technical committee was falsely informed that the hazardous waste was a byproduct that could be used as such, without any further treatment. It was shown to be incinerated. It was also claimed that the waste load was subsequently given for processing before the end use.Six persons had suffocated to death and 23 others were hospitalised after inhaling toxic gas from the tanker vehicle that was illegally discharging chemical waste into the drain inside the Sachin GIDC area of Surat on January 6. The principal bench of NGT on January 10 had taken cognisance of the Indian Express report on the incident to initiate proceedings. The committee also found Hikal Ltd, which was dumping the waste in Gujarat from its Taloja unit in Maharashtra, had “no authorisation for disposal of such hazardous liquid through a third party”. It was also the duty of the company to take steps for safe disposal, sending or selling the hazardous waste to an authorised actual user of hazardous waste generated in its establishment or to dispose of it in an authorised disposal facility.“In flagrant violation, the hazardous chemical NaHS is illegally disposed of and to make it a show that it is a sale, invoices were issued and the consignee was the Sangam Enviro who had no facility of any treatment or processing etc, moreover is not a textile or cement industry. Sangam Enviro has no consent from GPCB (Gujarat Pollution Control Board) and surprisingly, that was not known to the generator (Hikal Ltd)… The consignee has illegally disposed of all the tankers in Gujarat except one, which was caught by the police,” the report noted.The committee has also recommended Rs 15.05 crore to be recovered from the company to be paid as damages. Additionally, it has also recommended that a total of Rs 2.40 crore be recovered from Hikal as compensation to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased and the victims, for payment incurred by GPCB to clean-up the contaminated liquid, and as payment to the state, which paid ex-gratia amount from its account to the families of the deceased.
According to the police, Abdul Aziz had planned to send these rifle parts to Yemen (Representational)ahmedabad: A 36-year-old Yemeni national was arrested with parts of AK-47 and other assault rifles, which he allegedly got manufactured from engineering firms in Gujarat, police said on Friday.Based on a tip-off, the Ahmedabad crime branch caught the accused Abdul Aziz Al-Azzani from a hotel on February 9, and seized parts of assault rifles from him, an official said.The police recovered a gas block, a front sight, a short barrel and some other mechanical parts of various assault rifles, including AK-47, he said.The crime branch also recovered nearly 150 wax moulds and four dyes from two firms in Kathwada area of the GIDC in Ahmedabad, the official said.According to the police, Abdul Aziz had planned to send these rifle parts to Yemen, a war-torn country where groups such as the Al-Qaeda and Houthi rebels are fighting against each other.Preliminary investigations have revealed that the accused, who is a resident of Al-Baidah city in Yemen, works as a labourer and farmer, the official said.To fulfil the demand for parts of assault rifles in Yemen, one Munir Mohammed had offered commission to Abdul Aziz to acquire these parts from India and send them to Yemen, the crime branch stated in a release.Abdul Aziz had visited Mumbai in 2018 for his father's heart operation, and had since visited every year for his father's check-ups, it said.As per the deal struck with Munir, Abdul came to Mumbai with his father on November 16 last year, and after a check-up, he sent his father back to Yemen and travelled to Ahmedabad, it was stated.The accused contacted DK Engineering, a firm in Odhav GIDC area, to prepare dyes for parts, such as a short barrel, front sight and gas block, the release said.As per the designs and measurements provided by Abdul Aziz, the firm prepared the metal dyes and gave it to him, unaware that the dyes were meant for manufacturing rifle parts, it said.The accused then contacted two other manufacturing firms in Kathwada GIDC area of Ahmedabad and placed an order to manufacture different parts with the help of the dyes, by informing them that the parts will be used in industrial machinery.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comA local court has remanded the accused to police custody for seven days, the official said, adding that a case under the Arms Act has been registered in this regard.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Gujarat gas leak: Three children were among those affected, said an official (Representational)Kheda (Gujarat): At least 15 people, including children, were rendered unconscious after inhaling chlorine gas that leaked from a cylinder in the premises of a water treatment plant in Matar taluka of Gujarat's Kheda district, on Friday, an official said.The affected persons, who lived near the plant, were admitted to a hospital in Tarapur town and were out of danger, fire officer Dixit Patel of Nadiad town fire brigade said.The fire brigade brought the leak under control by spraying water on the cylinder for over an hour, he said.The incident took place at a 16 MLD-capacity water treatment plant of the state Water Supply Department, situated on the outskirts of Pariej village on Kheda-Tarapur state highway, an official said.Seven women, three children and five men were referred to a hospital in Tarapur town when they fell unconscious after inhaling chlorine, said Pravin Bhagat, revenue officer of Matar taluka.Chlorine is used to purify water. According to eyewitnesses, a cylinder containing chlorine had been lying in a room at the plant for over 10 years, and it suddenly started leaking in the afternoon, the fire officer said."Before we reached, the on-duty persons used a JCB machine and dumped the cylinder into a culvert so that chlorine would get diluted in the running water without affecting people," Patel said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comAlthough the fire brigade sprayed water on the cylinder till it emptied out, the initial leak in the air affected some people living near the plant, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) on Friday submitted to the Gujarat high court that its decision of declaring coal as an approved fuel to curb air pollution levels â€œmay not be struck down in the interest of justiceâ€. In response to a PIL filed by advocate Amit Panchal demanding that all coal-based industries should be shifted to natural gas to improve the ambient air quality in Gujarat, the high court asked the state government: â€œWhy should the gazette notification dated 26.10.2017 or any similar notification/order by which it declares coal to be an approved fuel under Section 2(d) of the Air Pollution Act be not struck down?â€ The GPCB has replied that the notification was issued after consultation with the state government by using powers available under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and therefore the court may not consider removing coal from the list of approved fuel in Gujarat. The high court had also sought details from the government about how many industries function on coal and what is the consumption of coal in Gujarat. GPCB has informed the high court that total 4,308 industrial units across the state function by using coal as fuel. All industries employing steam for their production use coal. Major industries that run on coal are power generating units, pharmaceuticals, steel, chemical industries, textile etc. On consumption of coal, GPCB stated that average coal usage in Gujarat every day is 4,58,435.12 metric tonnes. The district of Kutch tops in coal consumption with 1,70,232 MT. Industrial units in Ahmedabad district consume 57,379 MT coal with city units using 5,761 MT daily. Gandhinagar consumes 12,453 MT, Surat uses 35,052 MT coal. GPCB further submitted that Gujarat has installed capacity to generate 26,428 MW per hour as against total capacity of 3.82 lakh MW generation in India. Against 53% coal use in power generation in India, Gujaratâ€™s usage of coal is 51.9%. The court was also informed that 70% plus energy catered in Gujarat is from coal based units and only 9% is from gas based power stations. The court has posted hearing on this issue on January 21.
Fitness icon Milind Soman completed a 1,000-km long bicycle journey from Mumbai to the national capital to raise awareness about air pollution.The 56-year-old barefoot marathon runner cycled 150-km a day to propose state gas utility GAIL India Ltd’s ‘Hawa Badlo’ campaign that promotes use of cleaner fuel and healthy lifestyle to tackle pollution.Starting his journey from Mumbai on December 3, he reached the national capital on Sunday evening.At a function organised by GAIL here to mark the culmination of the run, the supermodel said small changes – such as walking or cycling for short distances need to switch over to cleaner energy sources as EVs and CNG would make a big difference to the world.Soman, who prefers running over cycling, says he took to the bicycle after four years to test his physical fitness. “Actually it wasn’t tough.”Every individual has to set physical goals and exercise daily.  A post shared by Milind Usha Soman (@milindrunning)“Nature did not create our mind and body for comfort. It is designed for challenges, hard work. If you don’t use it for what it is made for, it will degenerate,” he said.The Green Ride passed through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana before reaching the national capital.“If we eat healthy, live healthy, we won’t have to worry about the environment,” he said. “If we make right choices for individual health, consume as much as necessary, if we chose health less polluting fuels such as electricity, that is going to make a big difference.”GAIL chairman and managing director Manoj Jain, the firm’s Director (Marketing) E S Ranganathan and Director (Finance) R K Jain were present on the occasion.GAIL, Jain said, has always been at the forefront of the fight against air pollution.  A post shared by Milind Usha Soman (@milindrunning)Starting as a natural gas transporter and marketer, the firm introduced CNG in the national capital more than two decades back to fight air pollution caused by the use of alternate liquid fuels.Its social media initiative ‘Hawa Badlo’ which strives to raise awareness against the menace has reached netizens over 100 million times.“As part of its commitment towards raising awareness for sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle GAIL partnered with ‘Green Ride – Ek Pehal Swachh Hawa ki Ore’ which is a unique initiative by Milind Soman to raise awareness and encourage people to do their bit towards cleaner air,” Jain said.Soman said small steps like opting for a carpool, planting a tree, choosing to cycle rather than take a car, and quitting smoking play a huge role in making the environment healthier.“Will continue to champion for this cause and other important ones through more such initiatives in the future,” he added.📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!
Ahmedabad: The farmers protesting at borders of the national capital deciding to call off their year-long protest comes as a major relief to Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) for its ambitious cross-country gas pipeline project linking Mehsana in Gujarat to Bathinda in Punjab. The 1,625-km pipeline, with an estimated project cost of Rs 5,500 crore passes through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. It was stuck for about a year, as some farmers in these three states refused to part with their land for the project till their pending demands with the Centre were met. In all, work on 50-60km of the underground pipeline could not be completed due to the farmers protests, said a state government official with direct knowledge of the project. A major part of the incomplete pipeline project, about 45km in Punjab, has seen fresh discussions starting with farmers over the last few days, the official added. At Sirsa in Haryana, some 100-150 farmers who were protesting had set up a base close to the 6km stretch near the highway where the pipeline is to be laid. â€œThey have all agreed to extend support the project after Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month announced the repealing of the three farm laws that were enacted in September last year. In Rajasthan too, problems have been resolved. In fact, the work on the pipeline in these two states will be completed very soon,â€ said another Gujarat government official. The natural gas trunk pipeline project, which passes through Ajmer in Rajasthan, also faced delays in implementation near Jaipur during the second wave of Covid-19 due to labour issues. A consortium led by GSPL has formed a special purpose vehicle called GSPL India Gasnet Ltd to implement the project. GSPL has a 52% stake in the SPV, with Indian Oil Corp Ltd holding 26%, and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd having 11% each. The project comprises a 840-km main line of 36 inches diameter and a 785km spur line with 24 inch, 18 inch, 12 inch and 8 inch diameters. The pipeline project is part of Prime Minister Modiâ€™s plan for the National Gas Grid. The pipeline will supply gas to fertilizer companies, refineries and city gas distributors along the route, who have already signed gas offtake pacts. The Rajasthan government recently said it plans to facilitate industrial growth along the Mehsana-Bathinda gas pipeline project in sectors like ceramics, glass, metal casting, textile and others. â€œIn Punjab, GSPL will have to re-negotiate the compensation amount offered to farmers through whose land the pipeline will pass. The revised prices will have to be on lines of compensation offered by GAIL recently for their project in the same region,â€ said an industry expert. Ushering in Change: The pipeline will traverse through Gujarat (47km), Rajasthan (1,334km), Haryana (200km) and Punjab (66km). It will connect operational LNG terminals in Gujarat at Dahej, Hazira and Mundra and upcoming ones at Chhara and Jafrabad in Gujarat It will supply gas to fertilizer companies, refineries and city gas distributors along the route, who have already signed gas offtake pacts. It will connect Indian Oil Corpâ€™s Panipat refinery, HPCL-Mittal Energyâ€™s Bathinda refinery and HPCLâ€™s under-construction refinery at Barmer, among others
The Rajasthan government organised an investors’ meet in Gujarat to promote their upcoming “Invest Rajasthan 2022” summit on Wednesday where agreements worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore were signed with industrialists.Invest Rajasthan summit is scheduled to be held on January 24-25, 2022 at Jaipur, where investors from across the globe including Spain, Japan and other countries have been invited, said officials from the Rajasthan government during the investors’ meet held with the help of CII in Ahmedabad.“At this event in Ahmedabad, we have attracted investments worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore, which includes 12 MoUs worth Rs 41,590 crore and the remaining LoIs (Letter of Intent) worth Rs 64,110 crore,” said Parsadi Lal Meena, Health and Excise minister, Rajasthan government who oversaw the MoU signing ceremony for 40 projects.Archana Singh, Commissioner of Industries and Bureau of Investment Promotion said while some of the agreements included national players like Azure Power who had offices in Gujarat and wanted to set up a solar park worth Rs 24000 crore in Fatehgarh in Jaisalmer, there were Gujarat centric companies like Torrent Gas who were looking to park Rs 5000 crore in city gas distribution projects.“The MoUs signed are with those companies whom we have been following up for the last six months and have been allocated land. The LoIs are those who have expressed interest in investing in Rajasthan,” Singh told mediapersons after the meeting in Ahmedabad.While addressing businessmen during the investors’ meet, the health minister from Rajasthan said cheap land will be made available to industries willing to invest in the state. “For those investors investing Rs 100 or more, we have prepared a customised package where any services they ask for will be provided. You will not have to meet the cabinet or the bureaucrats… The land is 40 percent cheaper than before,” he said projecting the upcoming oil refinery in Barmer where a PCPIR is being developed.“The raw materials come to Morbi from our state. You can come and set up units near the source of these raw materials. We will give all the facilities,” said Meena who targeted investments in ceramic sector. The minister said in connection with the upcoming  investment summit a delegation from Rajasthan had gone to Dubai where Rs 40000 crore worth of MoUs were signed.Industries official Archana Singh said that Rajasthan currently is processing Rs 2 lakh crore of projects where companies have sought customised packages which include solar power generation companies like Adani Group, Torrent Group and Azure Power, Renew Power and others. “Each of their projects have capacity of 10 GW,” Singh said.Singh said that the Adani Group which is setting up a solar park have already put in place 5000-6000 MW. “We have recently approved a Rs 48000 crore customised package for the Adani Group and they have given a request for another Rs 40000 crore of investments,” she added.The investments signed in Gujarat on Wednesday are in renewable energy, city gas supply, cement manufacturing, logistics, tourism and hospitality.
After the release of the first phase of the fifth wave of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), we wrote in these pages (‘New welfarism of India’s Right’, IE, December 22, 2020), providing evidence for: (i) The success of the Narendra Modi government’s New Welfarism — the public provision of essential, and essentially private, goods and services such as cooking gas, toilets, bank accounts, power, housing, and cash; and (ii) setbacks in health and nutrition outcomes for children such as stunting, and the prevalence of anaemia and diarrhoea.The release of the second and final phase of NFHS-5, which covered 11 states (including Uttar Pradesh (UP), Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Jharkhand, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh) and about 49 per cent of the population calls for an update of our previous findings.First, it is now clear that the evidence for the success of New Welfarism is as strong as we had suggested earlier. Figure one plots household access to improved sanitation, cooking gas and bank accounts used by women. The improvements are as striking as they were based on the performance of the phase 1 states. In all cases, access has increased significantly, although claims of India being 100 per cent open defecation-free still remain excessive.Second, on child-related outcomes, our earlier findings have to be qualified, significantly in the case of stunting and diarrhoea. Earlier we had found that child stunting had stagnated between 2015 and 2019 after decades of progress. When phase 2 states are added, we find that India-wide, stunting has declined although the pace of improvement has slowed down post-2015 compared with the previous decade. For example, stunting improved by 0.7 percentage points per year between 2005 and 2015 compared to 0.3 percentage points between 2015 and 2021. On diarrhoea too, adding the new data reverses the earlier finding. However, on anaemia and acute respiratory illness, there seems to have been deterioration as we had found earlier.The new child stunting results are significant but also surprising because of the sharply divergent outcomes between the phase 1 and phase 2 states. Figure 3 tries to unpack the new evidence. It plots child stunting rates for the most recent period on the y-axis and rates for 2015 on the x-axis along with a 45-degree line. Points to the north of the line indicate deterioration in performance between 2015 and 2020, while points below the line denote improvement. The phase 1 and 2 states are shown in black and red, respectively. The interesting pattern is that nearly all the phase 2 states show large improvements, whereas most of the phase 1 states exhibited a deterioration in performance.The survey for the latest data was conducted in two waves, the first before the pandemic and the second during the peak of the second wave (October/November 2020 – March/April 2021). How much the circumstances of the NFHS survey might have affected the results is difficult to say; and if anything, our priors would have been that phase 2 states would have fared worse due to the impact of Covid.Evidently, the converse has happened. For the moment, we must accept the results while investigating this and other possible anomalies: For example, the data for Tamil Nadu shows a dramatic deterioration in the sex ratio at birth from 954 females to males in 2015 to 878 in 2020, indicating a sharp increase in selective abortion, despite an improvement in the sex ratio of the overall population from 1,033 to 1,088 females per males.But here’s the real surprise in Figure 3. If the new child stunting numbers are right, a different picture of India emerges. Apparently, Madhya Pradesh now has fewer stunted children than Gujarat; Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand are almost at par with Gujarat; Chhattisgarh fares better than Gujarat, Karnataka, and Maharashtra; and Rajasthan and Odisha fare better than Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh! On child stunting, the old BIMARU states (excepting Bihar) are no longer the laggards; the laggards are Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, and to a lesser extent, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.If true, on the key child stunting metric, what we are seeing is not catch-up but the great switch between some of the BIMARU states and the mid-peninsular/western states. Indeed, the decline in stunting achieved by the poorer states such as UP, MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan would be all the more remarkable given the overall weakness in the economy between 2015 and 2021. When commentators speak of two Indias, it is now important to ask: Which ones and on what metrics?Finally, insofar as health and nutrition are determined by actions of the states, stunting outcomes reflect on their performance. The improvements in Rajasthan have happened under the Congress, in MP and Haryana under the BJP, in Odisha under the BJD, and in UP under both Samajwadi Party and BJP; and the stagnation/setbacks have occurred in Gujarat (BJP), West Bengal (Trinamool), and Telangana (TRS). Neither success nor failure seems to be the monopoly of any one political party.Anand is Robert S. McNamara Fellow, World Bank and Subramanian is Senior Fellow, Brown University
MUMBAI: Reliance Industries (RIL) has agreed to transfer its gasification project in Jamnagar, Gujarat, to a 100% arm, the company said late Wednesday evening. It will transfer the gasification undertaking on a slump sale basis. Slump sale means transfer of a business of a company for a lump sum without assigning any values to individual assets and liabilities of the entity. The move, said RIL, will help in unlocking value in the gasifier business, which could include induction of external investors and partners. The separation scheme would be effective from March 31, 2022 and requires the approval of shareholders, NCLT and other regulatory authorities. The gasification project in Jamnagar was set up to produce syngas (synthesis gas) to meet the energy requirements as refinery off-gases, which earlier served as fuel, were repurposed into feedstock for the Refinery Off Gas Cracker (ROGC). Syngas as a fuel ensures reliability of supply and helps reduce volatility in the energy costs. It is also used to produce hydrogen for consumption in the Jamnagar refinery.
Cairn Oil & Gas has announced that it is partnering US-based Halliburton to start shale exploration in the Lower Barmer Hill formation, Western Rajasthan. The company is also looking to increase the recoverable reserves at its offshore assets by 10 times via enhanced use of technology, in partnership with Halliburton.What is shale oil? How does it differ from conventional crude oil?The key difference between shale oil and conventional crude is that the former, also called ‘tight oil’, is found in smaller batches, and deeper than conventional crude deposits. Its extraction requires creation of fractures in oil and gas rich shale to release hydrocarbons through a process called hydraulic fracking.Russia and the US are among the largest shale oil producers in the world, with a surge in shale oil production in the US having played a key role in turning the country from an importer of crude to a net exporter in 2019. A number of US shale exploration firms, including Halliburton, have faced litigation from citizens living in areas adjacent to shale production sites who have claimed that hydraulic fracking has contributed to groundwater contamination .What are the prospects of shale oil exploration in India?Currently, there is no large-scale commercial production of shale oil and gas in India. State-owned ONGC had, in 2013, started exploration and, by the end of FY21, assessed shale oil and gas potential in 25 nomination blocks, but has reduced investments over the past few years after only getting limited success in shale exploration efforts. While ONGC’s assessment found prospects of shale oil at the Cambay basin in Gujarat and the Krishna Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh, the company concluded that “ the quantity of oil flow observed in these basins” did not indicate “commerciality” and that the general characteristics of Indian shales are quite different from North American ones.Debasish Mishra, partner at Deloitte India, said shale oil and gas exploration faces several challenges other than environmental concerns around massive water requirements for fracking and potential for ground water contamination.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
Cairn Oil and Gas on Tuesday announced a partnership with US-based Halliburton to target a 10-fold increase in its recoverable reserves at offshore assets to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).Cairn is set to invest $4 billion over the next 3-4 years in an attempt to boost the company’s production of crude to 50 per cent of India’s total production. It will also seek to leverage the partnership with Halliburton to commence shale exploration targeting the Lower Barmer Hill (LBH) formation of western Rajasthan. Halliburton is one of the largest oil field services companies in the world, with operations across over 70 countries.“To increase domestic production, India needs to encourage exploration of new fields, increase investment and technology for ageing fields, and also incentivise unconventional options like shale and gas,” said Cairn CEO Prachur Sah, adding the firm was aiming to increase production to 5,00,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.Cairn, owned by Vedanta Ltd, is the largest private sector oil and gas producer in the country. Its portfolio of assets include the Rajasthan block, Lakshmi and Gauri gas fields in Cambay, Gujarat and the Ravva oil and gas field in Andhra Pradesh.“The partnership for offshore assets will evolve through three distinct stages of conceptual design, conceptual detailing, and execution,” according to a release by the company. Cairn and Halliburton will develop pilot drills to explore the potential of shale in the Barmer basin.
AHMEDABAD: This yearâs Navratri-Diwali festive season spelt good news for many industrial and consumer products segments as pent-up demand pushed up sales volumes. Even though consumers splurged on festive shopping sprees, they paid higher prices for a range of commodities. An increase in raw material prices for cotton, oilseeds, coal and natural gas or even steel, semiconductors, metal and other basic chemicals, caused end product prices to rise in many sectors. While apparels are expected to get costlier in the coming fortnight, the price of consumer electronics, ceramic tiles, real estate properties and even edible oil prices are on the boil. Prices of apparel, made-ups to rise by 15%With prices of cotton touching record-high levels of Rs 68,000 per bale, and that of dyes and chemicals used for textile processing almost doubling in the span of a month or two, the prices of cotton apparel and made-ups will increase by 15-25% in a fortnight or so, suggest industry players. âHigher prices of cotton are hurting manufacturers, many of whom have temporarily stopped buying cotton to reduce cost-pressures. With cotton prices increasing, even yarn prices have increased due to increased demand from China, where there are production shortages. These being major raw materials for manufacturing textiles, apparels and made-ups, it will certainly lead to an increase in prices,â said Chintan Thaker, chairman, Assocham Gujarat state council. Basic chemicals used in textile process houses have also become costlier. âBesides the cost of dyes and chemicals, the prices of coal â which is used to operate boilers â have also increased. This has added to our cost of production and it is not viable to do business without passing them on. To keep basic liquidity, we have no choice but to increase the job charges which will add to the cost of polyester sarees, fabrics and dress materials,â said Pramod Chaudhary, ex-president, South Gujarat Textile Processorsâ Association (SGTPA). Industry players have also raised concerns over the GST Councilâs proposed plan to implement an increase in GST rates on fabrics and garments from 5% to 12% effective January 1, 2022. âIf the GST rates increase, apparel and made-up will get even more expensive and this in the longer run may affect cost-competitiveness of apparel makers and hit order volumes and demand,â said Rahul Mehta, chief mentor, Clothing Manufacturersâ Association of India (CMAI). Consumer electronics, home appliances get dearerCome Diwali and a lot of people wait for the annual Diwali discounts on a range of consumer products and home appliances to make their purchases. However, this Diwali, consumers have paid at least 15% more on televisions, air conditioners, washing machines and given the semiconductor shortage and rise in prices of other raw materials. Bhavesh Waria, president, Ahmedabad Electronics Dealersâ Association (AEDA), said, âFrom April to October 2021, a slew of raw materials including copper, aluminium and plastic parts became expensive. These are widely used in manufacturing of consumer electronics and home appliances and over the past six to seven months, the consumer electronics have become costlier by at least 10-15% due to costlier raw materials.â Makers of electronics and home appliances are battling production woes amid a steep semiconductor shortage, which is affecting production in a big way. âAt present, dealers are not facing any issues because the demand has not remained so great even during the festive season. However, the shortage of semiconductor is getting worse for manufacturers with demand only increasing. Therefore, consumers who plan to buy electronics may buckle up for another likely increase in prices by 3-5%,â Waria added. Edible oil prices on the boilEdible oil prices rallied substantially in the domestic market over the past one year. High prices of imported oils such as sunflower and palm oil, as well as a surge in oilseed prices amid Covid-19 induced disruptions, kept edible oil prices on the boil. The retail prices of sunflower oil (packed) in Ahmedabad shot up by 55% to Rs 160 per kg on November 10 this year from Rs 103 per kg on the same date last year, according to the data compiled by the union ministry of consumers affairs. During the same period, the per kilogram price of soya oil firmed up by 46% to Rs 150 from Rs 103. While mustard oil price jumped 75% to Rs 175 from Rs 100, palm oil increased 28% to Rs 110 from Rs 86. âEdible oil prices remain high only when oilseed prices are high. Most importantly, high prices of imported oils such as sunflower and palm also kept domestic oils such as mustard at firm levels,â said Sameer Shah, president, Gujarat State Edible Oils and Oil Seeds Association (GSEOOSA). Sunflower, palm, and soya oil price fluctuations are dependent on international market trends. Worldwide, the supply of these oils was lesser than the demand. Also, a significant chunk of these vegetable oils went into biodiesel production, which further affected its availability. High prices of oilseeds kept edible oil prices firm amid less supply of vegetable oils around the world. Indiaâs 65% edible oil demand is met through imports. However, groundnut oil prices were less volatile as groundnut production was plentiful. Groundnut oil prices rose only 9% annually as of November 10, 2021. Ceramic tiles prices rise 30-40%Faced with back-to-back surge in prices of natural gas and higher transportation and raw material costs, tile makers in Morbi, Indiaâs largest cluster of ceramic tile industry, have raised the prices of their finished products by an average of 30-40%. Since the beginning of August this year, the price of industrial piped natural gas supplied to the tile manufacturing units in Morbi has firmed up to Rs 58 per standard cubic meter (SCM) for 3-month minimum guaranteed offtake (MGO) from Rs 33.14 per SCM (excluding tax). The tile makers revised prices of tiles â vitrified, wall and floor tiles â thrice to pass on higher production to consumers. As a result, retail prices of various ceramic tiles have also surged by 30-40% in tandem with the wholesale prices, said tile makers in Morbi. Property gets 10-15% dearerWith key raw materials such as cement, steel, hardware and sanitary ware as well as transportation becoming costlier, real estate developers have seen their production cost moving up by an average of 20%. âThe raw material price surge has pushed up construction costs by at least Rs 300 to Rs 500 per square feet in Ahmedabad. On an average the cost has gone up by 20%. It will increase further,â said Chitrak Shah, vice-president of CREDAI-Ahmedabad GIHED, a body of city-based real estate developers. âHowever, the developers have not passed on the entire burden onto consumers. Hence, the retail prices of properties, mainly residential ones, have risen by 10-15%,â added Shah.
AHMEDABAD: Petronet LNG Ltd, which meets about 40% of the countryâs total gas demand from its terminal at Dahej, is planning to invest Rs 1,700 crore to build a third jetty, said industry sources close to the development. âThe company recently floated a tender to initiate construction work for the project. The expansion was stuck for some time due to the Covid pandemic,â said an industry expert, aware of the matter. As many as eight companies are in the race for the jetty project, he further said. With this project, the company aims to undergo diversification as it has chalked out plans to import liquid ethane and propane at the third jetty. Ethane is feedstock for the manufacturing of petrochemicals and is used to produce plastics, while propane is used as cooking gas and for home and water heating. Earlier this year, a senior company executive said they were exploring plans to set up a petrochemicals complex in Gujarat. PLL owns and operates LNG terminal at Dahej which commenced its commercial operations in April 2004. âConsidering the increasing demand of natural gas in the country and proposed expansion of LNG terminal from 17.5 MTPA to 20 MTPA, PLL has now proposed to construct third berth (jetty) of 2.5 km adjacent to the existing second berth for unloading of LNG and transport to the storage tanks,â according to a pre-feasibility report for the third jetty. It will also act as a risk mitigation measure in case existing berths are unable to operate for an extended period or to cater to the anticipated number of ships at a time, the report states. PLL is also planning to import and unload liquid ethane and propane at the third berth through carriers of parcel size of 1 lakh cubic metres. It is expected that 1.25 MTPA ethane will be handled initially and expandable to 2.5 MTPA in the future, as per the report. âThere is a huge demand for ethane and propane by petrochemical industries available in the vicinity. Thus, it is proposed to import ethane and propane also through third berth and supply to the consumers,â it said. The onshore infrastructure for ethane and propane storage & regasification system shall be planned and installed at a later stage. Ethane and propane unloading shall only be done after construction/installation of onshore ethane and propane storage & regasification system, it said. A company official declined to comment on the matter.
Over 25 vehicles have been affected in the incident, police said.Kheda (Gujarat): More than 25 vehicles including bikes, autorickshaws and cars were destroyed in a fire in Gujarat's Kheda district. No casualties have been reported so far.Nadiad Fire Brigade team and fire tenders of Ahmedabad, Mehmedwad, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were also involved in attempts to douse the fire.After one and a half-hour of struggle, the teams brought the fire under control.Dixit Patel, fire superintendent, Nadiad fire department informed that a fire broke out in the recovered vehicle and goods belonging in the compound of Kheda Town police station.Mr Patel said, some vehicles filled with chemicals, had caught fire.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added.
KHEDA: More than 25 vehicles including bikes, autorickshaws and cars were gutted in a fire on the premises of Kheda Town Police Station in Gujarat's Kheda district. No casualties have been reported so far. Nadiad fire brigade team and fire tenders of Ahmedabad, Mehmedwad, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were also involved in attempts to douse the fire. After one and a half-hour of struggle, the teams brought the fire under control. Dixit Patel, fire superintendent, Nadiad fire department informed that a fire broke out in the recovered vehicle and goods belonging in the compound of Kheda Town police station. Patel said, some vehicles filled with chemicals, had caught fire. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, he added.
SURAT: Within a week of the ATM theft of Rs 31.31 lakh, the police cracked the case that took place in Vadodarea in limits of Pandesara police station and arrested two members of a gang based in Mevat in Haryana on Thursday. The cops recovered cash Rs 50,000 and also a car, worth Rs 6 lakh, that was used in the theft. Cops said that a gang of six persons was involved in the theft. The burglars sprayed some colour on CCTV cameras in the ATM booth and cut open the machineâs chest using a gas cutter on October 29. Based on specific information, police arrested Dildas alias Babloo Saiyed (22) from the city. On being interrogated, Saiyed gave information about Jakir alias Guchhu Sahbuddin alias Kallu Qureshi (40), who was nabbed from Haryana. The State Bank of India ATM in Vadod of Pandesara was burgled during the wee hours on October 29. It was suspected that after stealing cash, the burglars torched the machine and booth. But now the cops think that the fire might have broken out accidentally. âIt is suspected that the ATMâs wiring caught fire while the burglars were breaking it open using a gas cutter. However, they succeed in stealing the cash tray,â said a police officer in Pandesara police station. Along with the ATM, fixture, AC and CCTV cameras were destroyed in the fire. âThe gang is from Mevat and after carrying out the theft they returned back. From the way the crime was executed, we suspect that it is a professional gang involved in cash theft from ATMs,â said A P Chaudhary, police inspector, Pandesara police station. Cops also identified four other involved in the theft and attempts are on to nab them. It is not clear what type of spray was used to blind the CCTV cameras and if the cash in the ATM also caught fire.
AHMEDABAD: Ceramic tile makers in Morbi have decided to raise prices of various types of tiles by 10%. The decision follows a recent hike in prices of piped natural gas (PNG) supplied to the industrial units in India's largest cluster of ceramic industry. "Tile prices have been increased by 10% with effect from November 1. The prices have been revised thrice in the past three months due to the increased prices of natural gas and other fuels," said Mukesh Kundariya, president, vitrified tiles division, Morbi Ceramic Association (MCA). According to industry players, some manufacturers have already passed on the hike, while others are in the process to do so. With back-to-back price rises in August, October and November, ceramic tiles - vitrified, wall tiles and floor tiles - have become 40-50% costlier this year, added tile manufacturers in Morbi. "The prices have gone up due to spiralling cost of fuels, which include natural gas, coal and petrol and diesel over the past one year," added Mukesh Ughreja, a Morbi-based tile maker. Kundariya further added that the recent price rise in industrial PNG has translated in to a cost burden of Rs 200-250 crore per month on the Morbi ceramic tile industry. "The increased natural gas price is likely to have an adverse impact on our export orders as well," he said. With effect from November 1, state-run Gujarat Gas Limited (GGL) has raised the tariffs of industrial PNG supplied to ceramic and sanitaryware units in Morbi and Surendranagar by Rs 11 per standard cubic meter (SCM) to Rs 58 per SCM from Rs 47 per SCM for the three-month minimum guaranteed offtake (MGO). The industrial PNG has been revised upwards following a rise in the international prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Since the beginning of August, industrial PNG prices for 3-month MGO have gone up from around Rs 33.14 per standard cubic meter (excluding tax) to Rs 58 per SCM.
Gujarat Gas has increased natural gas prices for ceramic clusters of Morbi and Surendranagar by Rs 11 per standard cubic metre (SCM), effective from November 1.This is second major hike in gas price for the cluster in less than a month and industry leaders say costlier gas will hit the dwindling exports further.A notification from the Gujarat Gas (GG), the gas distribution subsidiary of the state government-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), stated that the revised basic gas price for ceramic and sanitaryware clusters in Morbi and Surendranagar will be revised to Rs 58 from November 1. Industry sources said that the effective price for industries will be more than Rs 61 per SCM after including value-added tax (VAT).The GG notification ascribed the hike to an increase in prices of natural gas in the international market. “On account of substantial increase in natural gas price in international markets, company (GG) has revised the industrial gas price for MGO (minimum guaranteed offtake) Agreement…,” the notification stated.On October 6, the GG had increased the price by Rs 10 per SCM. A month prior to that, the price was increased by Rs 5.The Morbi Ceramics Association (MCA), a chamber of ceramic tiles and sanitaryware manufacturers in Morbi district, said the latest hike in price will hit the exports. “Till around a year ago, when the gas price was Rs 24, Morbi used to export ceramic products worth Rs 2,450 crore per month. It dropped to Rs 1,200 per month as gas price was increased. It further came down to Rs 1,000 crore by August and as GG kept on increasing prices, it dropped to Rs 800 crore last month. October’s exports are likely to slump to Rs 500 crore,” said Nilesh Jetpariya, president of wall-tiles division of MCA.Jetpariya said the GG’s policy of neither offering long-term contracts to ceramic factories nor notifying a hike in advance is hitting the credibility of industry. “Natural gas account for 35 per cent of production cost in this industry and big hikes leads to a substantial increase in production cost. This forces us to cancel overseas supply contracts…,” Jetpariya added.He said that Morbi-Surendranagar ceramic cluster is the world’s largest natural gas consuming cluster but the monopoly of GG in supplying the fuel will hurt the industry in the long-term. “It is neither offering us long-term contract nor is the government allowing other gas distributors to enter this market or allow us to use alternate fuel. This is hurting the ceramic industry,” said Jetpariya.GG offers monthly and three-month contracts to ceramic units. GG officers could not be contacted for a comment.
There’s news that eight to 12 African cheetahs are to be introduced into the Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh, towards the end of November. Some say this is a welcome ghar wapsi after the last Indian cheetah was shot in 1952. Scientists are of the view that this is a hare-brained idea and that Kuno is not ready to welcome these speed kings. At considerable risk – and by maintaining social distancing of at least 500 km – Down In Jungleland (DIJ) interviewed the three resident big cats in India: the lion, the tiger and the leopard for their take on the issue. Excerpts:DIJ: Are you ready to welcome the cheetahs after so many years?Lion: (Roaring) We Indian loins have been grossly insulted! Kuno was being customised for our extended families, and now this! We’re crammed in Gir (National Park, Gujarat) – more than 600 of us: it’s like living in a chawl or tenement! We’re being forced to eat buffelow! Is this how you treat the King of Beasts? You’ve seen what COVID has done when people congregate. Your children are free to go abroad to study and work – and do brilliantly because they’re no longer strangulated by the system – but we can’t put a paw out of Gir for a sniff of fresh air! And now you’ve gone and handedKuno over to cheetahs: Those effeminate kajal-wearing creatures that can only run fast for 30 seconds?Tiger: Bah: Loinji may think he is the King of Beasts, but I’m the national animal so kindly prostrate yourself or be deemedforever anti-national! This is a deep-rooted conspiracy to get rid of us tigers! They’ll now say, see the cheetah went extinctand we brought it back! We could do the same with tigers: they can go extinct too, bang-bang, and we’ll import cheapversions from China where tigers are farmed en masse. Then, you’ll have ‘Made in China’ tigers roaming around Ranthambore and Corbett!DIJ: It’s been said that the ecosystem of Kuno is not right for cheetahs: they like open savannahs and grasslands, not dry deciduous forests…Lion (looking interested): You mean if the cheetahs run the way you people drive, they’ll be crashing headfirst into treesat 120 kmph? That should be spectacular and will surely go viral on social media; not to mention easy pickings! [Licks hischops and drools.]Leopard (eyes glinting): You morons haven’t a clue as to what’s really going to happen! Why do you think the govmantis ramming all these expressways and elevated roads through the national parks and sanctuaries? Yes, so the cheetahs canrace up and down them at 120 kmph chased by political bigwigs and Bollywood hot shots in SUVs trying to bop themoff! Can you imagine what a bindaas chase scene that would make! (Snarls)DIJ: It’s also being said that the main prey of the cheetah – the blackbuck – is no longer to be found in Kuno, nor their substitute, the chinkara, that is declining. So what will these cheetahs hunt?Lion: Who gives a damn! They can chase rabbits! The point is that – they are aliens! You people call those who have livedin this country for decades, aliens, and want to throw them out, yet you happily invite these ‘firangi pseudo-billis’ forpermanent residency?DIJ: Gentlemen, gentlemen! We have a long-distance caller from the Serengeti (National Park, Africa): a prospective immigrant cheetah called Ferrari-Upepo. His name means, Ferrari-Wind! Welcome to the show. Tell us, how do you feel about your proposed re-location to India?Ferrari: A little nervous, yet gung-ho at the same time, but then we’ve always been highly strung…DIJ: Gung-ho – that’s good to know. How so?Lion: (interrupting): Yeah, pretty boy, tell us!Upepo: Grow a proper beard kitty, then I’ll talk to you…Gung-ho, because it’ll be like the reunification of India andAfrica!Lion (Roaring): You dare insult us, Indian loins?Tiger: Bah: Do you know there hasn’t been a single man- eating cheetah in all of history? And that they had been tamed? (Spits)Upepo: Buddy, my first name may be Ferrari but I can outgun one: 0-100 kmph in less than three seconds! Match that! Ittakes you five minutes to even yawn!All three Indian big cats: Yes, but you run out of gas in 30 seconds and can’t even eat for half-an-hour afterwards.Upepo: (smugly) I believe they want to train us as sprinters for the next Olympics… We’re sure to win gold medals galoreand then be feted by one and all!Tiger: (shaking its head): So wet behind the ears, still! Do you know what is going to happen: you arrive in Kuno and therewill be 50,000 hysterical unmasked oglers hounding your every twitch, gheraoing you with Gypsies, demanding selfies!Try making out with your missus in those conditions: Like having your honeymoon on the pitch at a full-capacity EdenGardens!Upepo: (Looking around nervously): Heck, there’s a Land- Rover approaching with dudes armed with tranquillizer guns; they’re coming to take me to India! (He vanishes)DIJ: Don’t worry gentlemen. He’ll be out of gas in 30 seconds and they’ll have the drones up with GPS: he has no chance! Now make him feel welcome!
Accusing the BJP government of exploiting people, Congress working president Hardik Patel announced Sunday he would go to villages and towns of the state to spread awareness among people and to bring about “a new revolution and change” in Gujarat. The party would organise 200 to 300 meetings across Gujarat over the next year for the purpose, he said.Launching the Janchetana Mahasammelan campaign from the Ravapar village on the outskirts of Morbi, Hardik said days of ‘slavery’ might return if one did not speak against the current BJP governments at the state and Centre. “If you do not wake up, speak up, do not let them know the difficulties and atrocities that you are being subjected to, we would be slaves of a system that existed when the Britishers ruled us,” Hardik said while addressing a public meeting.He said the government was turning a blind eye to the hardships faced by farmers, youth, middle class and small traders. “Ministers and MLAs (of the ruling party) have become deaf. If you want to awaken the deaf, you need to slap them on their ears. Only then will they wake up and take you seriously,” said Hardik.The Congress leader also alleged that the government was making lives difficult for the people by hiking fuel prices. “Diwali is still three days away but petrol price is going up every day. Cooking gas cylinders are becoming costlier by the day. There is some time before Diwali festivities begin but the government is leaving no stone unturned to lighten the people’s pockets. It is high time we spoke against the government,” said Hardik emphasising the government had given Morbi’s ceramic industry a Diwali gift by hiking the natural gas prices by Rs 11 per standard cubic metre.Morbi was lacking basic facilities, despite it generating a lot of revenue for the government in the form of taxes, he added. “There is not a single government English medium school. Morbi pays the highest taxes, generates the highest revenue and yet, we are aware of how the pot-hole ridden roads are here. Similar is the scenario in other districts and yet, no one is speaking out. People have become habituated to suffer,” said Hardik.Addressing the same meeting, Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani criticised the Central government over the ongoing farmers’ protests against the new farm laws. “We are remembering Sardar Patel but if he was among us today, his heart would have boiled after what happened in Lakhimpur (Kheri) of Uttar Pradesh a few days ago. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is known as the leader of Bardoli and Kheda satyagrahas whereas those who think of themselves as chhote Sardar are running over farmers of Lakhimpur. We have to understand this difference between the two Indias. Had Sardar Patel been among us today, he would have asked us how dare anyone run over farmers,” said Mevani.The country needed not statues of great leaders but hospitals, libraries and universities, he said, adding that Sardar Patel’s soul would have been happier if the government had spent Rs 100 crore each for constructing hospitals in 33 districts of Gujarat in his name than spending Rs 3,300 crore for a statue and so many people would not have lost their lives in the pandemic.
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Friday asked the state government to furnish details about the total consumption of coal in Gujarat every year. More significantly, the court wants the government to explore the possibility of supplying CNG, LPG, and PNG to industries so that air pollution can be curbed substantially. The HC was hearing a PIL filed by petitioner-advocate Amit Panchal who is seeking the prohibition of the use of coal as fuel in industries. Panchal wants gas to be used as fuel instead. The bench of Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice V D Nanavati sought the details about the consumption of coal in the state and the number of industries using only coal as fuel. The bench asked to what extent the possibility could be explored to supply gas to Gujarat industries so that they stopped using coal. While seeking these details, the high court cited the example of the Morbi ceramic cluster, where units were operated on coal-based gasifiers and the HC had ordered them to switch over to gas. âIt has made a difference. A place which was a hell at one point of time is limping back to normalcy,â said Justice Pardiwala. âCoal otherwise also is a great problem, very dangerous.â The petitioner said that all coal-based industrial units should be ordered to use gas to bring down air pollution levels. He expressed dissatisfaction with the action plan drawn by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board. The government pleader, Manisha Lavkumar Shah, defended the policy but the judges interjected. âYou (the government) may be taking steps and adopting devices to curb air pollution, but implementation is a big problem,â the court said. The court further said that by virtue of its order, Gujarat is now getting sufficient supply of CNG. The court asked the government to give details about the gas supply in Gujarat. The court also questioned why the state government cannot come out with a policy which does away with the use of coal, for nobody is disputing that coal is a big problem. The court said if the state government prohibits the use of coal as fuel for industries, many of its problems related to air pollution would be solved. âIf you are able to do this (prohibit the use of coal), it will be miraculous and will go a long way. Letâs work it out,â the court said. The state government agreed to the proposal, but said that it cannot do it straightaway because gas supply is not available for industries in many parts of the state. The government said the industrialists will also take into consideration the cost factor. The court said that it will pass an interim order in this regard after the vacation and expressed its intention to involve other government departments in the litigation.
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Saturday asked the state government why it should not junk the decision declaring coal as an approved fuel to curb the air pollution levels. In response to a PIL filed by petitioner-advocate Amit Panchal seeking prohibition on use of coal as fuel for industries and demanding that all industrial units functioning on coal be shifted to gas, the bench of Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice V D Nanavati has asked the state government, âWhy the Gazette Notification dated 26.10.2017 or any similar notification/order by which it declares coal to be an approved fuel under Section 2(d) of the Air Pollution Act be not struck down?â the court has sought reply by December 17. The high court agreed to the petitionerâs insistence that prohibiting coal as a fuel and shifting to natural gas will help in reduction of pollution levels. The high court cited various court orders and its effects on shifting industries to the use of PNG in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. All 1,635 industrial units in Delhi have completely shifted to the use of PNG. In NCR in Haryana, out of 1,469 identified industrial units, 408 units have shifted. In Uttar Pradesh, out of 2,273 units, as many as 1,167 units have shifted to gas. In Rajasthan, out of 436 identified units, 124 units have shifted to PNG. After citing these figures, the HC insisted that Gujarat too can try to achieve this. In response, government pleader Manisha Lavkumar Shah submitted that it is very difficult for the state government to take sudden policy decision to do away with coal. This may lead to lot of chaos and many small scale industries may be put into various difficulties. But the government pleader also maintained that usage of coal leads to air pollution and sooner or later, the government will have to take an appropriate policy decision to completely switch over to natural gas like CNG and PNG. Citing the Supreme Court orders, the HC said that the old concept that âdevelopment and ecology cannot go togetherâ is no longer acceptable. Sustainable development is the answer. The development of industries is essential for the economy of the country, but at the same time, the environment and the eco-systems have to be protected. The pollution created as a consequence of development must be commensurated with the carrying capacity of our eco-systems. After recording the high level of pollution and the health risk the people are at, the high court also said that the state government has powers to end the practice of use of coal as fuel.