DG Sets Above 19kW in NCR Must Be Retrofitted with Emission Control Devices or Dual Fuel Kits to Operate.
Starting from October 1, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has introduced new regulations in the National Capital Region (NCR) governing the use of diesel generator (DG) sets with a capacity exceeding 19kW. According to these updated rules, DG sets in the NCR can only operate if they have been retrofitted with emission control devices (ECDs) or equipped with dual fuel kits.
This regulatory change has received positive feedback from environmentalists and resident welfare associations (RWAs) in Delhi. However, residents in Gurugram and Noida, two cities prone to frequent power outages, have expressed concerns about the potential hardships it may bring. Some RWAs have pointed out that the conversion of DG sets to a dual fuel setup can be expensive, with costs reaching up to ₹10 lakh for a 600kW DG set.
Under these new regulations, which were initially announced on June 8, industries, commercial buildings, and residential setups in the NCR region have until September 30 to complete the retrofitting of their DG sets. These rules are applicable without exception, even under the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap), which includes emergency measures implemented every year starting from October 1 to combat air pollution.
In previous years, DG sets were allowed as backup power sources for essential and emergency services, including lifts, transportation hubs, healthcare facilities, Metro stations, sewage treatment plants, telecommunication, and data service institutes.
The CAQM regulations specify that DG sets with a power capacity below 19 kW, as well as those running on LPG, natural gas, biogas, propane, or butane, are exempt from retrofitting requirements and will not face restrictions during the Grap period.
For DG sets ranging from 19 to 125 kW, dual fuel mode (natural gas and diesel) operation is required. These sets will have no usage restrictions except during Grap when they can run for a maximum of two hours.
DG sets with a capacity of 125 to 800 kW must operate in dual fuel mode and undergo ECD retrofitting. However, they will not face usage restrictions during Grap. DG sets exceeding 800 kW in capacity must either be retrofitted with dual fuel kits or ECDs. Similar to the previous category, they will only face usage restrictions during Grap, where they can operate for a maximum of two hours.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), emphasized the importance of phasing out DG sets to improve air quality in the NCR. She noted that emissions from DG sets pose long-term health risks, particularly to individuals working in close proximity to them. Roychowdhury also highlighted the need for continuous power supply across the NCR, suggesting collaboration between CAQM and distribution companies (discoms) to ensure uninterrupted electricity access.
Atul Goyal, president of the United Residents Joint Action (Urja), a consortium of over 2,500 RWAs in Delhi, mentioned that power supply in Delhi during the winter months is generally stable. He anticipated minimal disruptions in most of Delhi, with potential power backup issues primarily affecting areas like Noida and Gurugram. However, some residential societies in Patparganj, Dwarka, and Rohini may encounter challenges related to power backups.