The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has published its Draft Guidelines for Promoting Community Boiler for Cluster of Small-Scale Industries. These draft guidelines were published on 16th June, 2023.
Industrial steam boilers have long been recognized as one of the significant contributors to air pollution in many countries. In the case of Small Scale Industries (SSIs), the presence of numerous small steam boilers presents a unique challenge in enforcing regulations and maintaining ambient air quality. However, a promising solution has emerged in the form of community boilers, which offer a centralized system to supply steam to multiple small units within an industrial area.
The concept of community boilers, also known as common boilers, involves the installation of a centralized system of boilers in an industrial cluster. These boilers generate steam, which is then supplied through a pipeline network to member industrial units. This innovative approach has already been successfully implemented in clusters of small-scale industries located in Surat, Vapi, and Ankleshwar in Gujarat.
The adoption of community boilers brings several benefits.
- It eliminates the need for individual small industries to invest heavily in the installation, operation, and maintenance of their own boilers. This not only reduces the financial burden on individual units but also promotes resource efficiency and avoids redundant installations.
- Additionally, the centralized system allows for better control and monitoring of air pollution by implementing advanced air pollution control devices at a single point, minimizing the overall environmental impact.
- Community boilers simplify the regulatory process for small-scale industries. Instead of each unit individually obtaining consent from the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC), the responsibility for compliance can be concentrated on the community boiler facility. This streamlines the bureaucratic procedures, reducing administrative burdens for both industries and regulatory bodies.
- The adoption of community boilers also facilitates efficient monitoring of air pollution. Regulators can focus on overseeing a smaller number of large boilers rather than a multitude of small individual units. This targeted approach enables better enforcement of air quality standards and encourages stricter compliance with pollution control regulations.
Recognizing the numerous advantages of community boilers, there is a growing need to explore and promote their installation in clusters of small-scale industries across the country. By encouraging the implementation of centralized steam supply systems, the government and industry stakeholders can work together to mitigate air pollution effectively, promote sustainable industrial practices, and enhance the overall environmental performance of small industries.
The success of community boiler initiatives in Gujarat serves as a model for other regions and industries to replicate. Through collaborative efforts and proactive measures, it is possible to tackle the air pollution challenge posed by small-scale industrial steam boilers and pave the way for a cleaner and greener industrial sector. Hence the CPCB has introduced these draft guidelines.