- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, September 15, 2022 : Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) is actively pursuing the process of alternative use of natural gas by about 300 brick kilns instead of coal as fuel for securing the air quality of the state.
Citing the impacts of pollution in air quality, TSPCB chairman Prof BK Agarwala on Thursday in a press communique said “Each brick kiln during working season in winter months, on an average, uses about 6000 metric tonnes (MT) of coal to produce bricks. This means, the existing brick kilns in the state potentially require more than 1.5 lakh MT coal to produce about 15 million bricks per year. Every kilogram of coal has an average burning efficiency of 30-60% depending on its quality. It means every 1000 gram of coal on burning produces heat equivalent to about 45% of its carbon content, and the rest 55% of the carbon including minor quantities of sulphur, phosphorus, are produced as burnt dust and gas which contribute to air pollution.”
“With a view to find a lasting solution to the issue of increasing air pollution in Agartala due to increase in developmental activities, TSPCB has identified brick kilns as one of the priority area. Use of natural gas as alternative to coal is a better and cost effective option to coal”, he said.
TSPCB organized a meeting of all the stakeholders involving senior officials of the ONGC (natural gas producer), GAIL (gas transporter), TNGCL (gas distributor), and executives of the All Tripura Brick Manufacturers Association. An interaction meeting was held on September 14 last in the TSPCB’s office at Gorkhabasti. All aspects of demand, supply, cost, and viability of natural gas were discussed among the participants.
In that meeting, it was decided that a baseline data would be prepared for all the brick kilns in Tripura with respect to their actual requirement of natural cost in relation to equivalent quantity of coal, distribution network of gas pipeline in different districts in phases, and availability of natural gas for brick kilns.
TSPCB has agreed to coordinate the demand-supply chain requirements with all the stakeholders. The Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Tripura represented by its scientist (Geologist) pointed out that the state government has already taken a policy decision for switch over to natural gas as fuel for brick kilns and other industries in the state from the last quarter of 2024.