The Petroleum Ministry on Monday told the Supreme Court that it is in favour of a ban on the import of petroleum coke, a solid non-volatile carbon residue left after the distillation and cracking of petroleum.
However, the environment ministry is yet to take the final call and will consult with all stakeholders before arriving upon a decision.
Pet coke is used as a substitute for coal as an industrial fuel as it is cheaper. However, its carbon and sulphur content is much higher and it releases harmful dioxides and other pollutants upon combustion, adding to air pollution concerns.
Environmentalist Sunita Narayan and advocate R. K. Kapoor were some of the individuals who had petitioned for the ban on the petroleum by-product in the apex court.
Their petitions sought a direction from the court for polluting industries to shift from the national capital to other places.
The apex Court had, in December last year, refused to lift the ban on the use of pet coke and furnace oil in many industrial units in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana keeping in view the increasing level of pollution.
It had also refused to give any relief to industrial units like the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) and Hindalco.
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