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Agra to target illegal coal supply to petha units

Posted on Feb 09 2014 | IANS

Agra, Feb 9 : The Agra Municipal Corporation will Monday launch a campaign targeting illegal coal supply from 15-odd depots to petha-making units, officials here said Sunday.

The district authorities have already demolished more than a score 'petha bhatties' (furnaces) and shut down several units in the Noori Darwaza market area for violating the Supreme Court's directives on pollution control.

Petha-making units have been told to stop using coal as fuel or shift away from the city. Petha is a translucent soft candy made from ash gourd and is popular in north India and Pakistan too.

Officials said a dozen units applied for commercial gas connection at a special camp that was set up for three days.

Municipal corporation officials said the campaign to shut down the remaining polluting petha units will resume Monday. Police have been asked to stay alert to defuse any agitation or resistance.

The Supreme Court in 1996 banned the use of coal in the Taj Trapezium Zone, while disposing of a plea to save the Taj Mahal from air pollution.

All polluting industries in the eco-sensitive zone extending to over 10,000 square km were ordered to switch to gas-based technology or move out.

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