Delhi Pollution: Tandoor Gets Banned

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Delhi eateries may soon need to conform to a regulatory adjustment in their tandoori menu, after the SDMC (South Delhi Municipal Corporation) issued an official circular to eateries across south Delhi to quit using coal in ovens that’s effectively used in tandoors. According to environmentalists, they’re of the opinion that the powder from coal adds to air contamination thereby contributing to particulate matter in the surrounding air, and eliminating the utilization of coal as a primary point of energy source will help enhance air quality to relative levels. Meanwhile authorities in Gurgaon have been more decisive about the same & have already enforced a sweeping prohibition on the coal usage in restaurants across the NCR city.

As a reactive move, some restaurant owners have ordered gas tandoors – an immediate alternative to the conventional forms but most Delhi eatery representatives stated that they’re still using traditional tandoors to make roasted kebabs and related items, while many of them are yet to take a call on it. As obvious as it is, restaurant Directors & owners are afraid the dishes without the traditional tandoor are never going to be the same again post replacement since it simply won’t have the authentic taste which it indigenously brings with it. However despite these concerns from the business owners, environmentalists keep pressing that Delhi currently is coping with a crisis thus coal ought to be prohibited with quick implementation of orders that support such ban.

Several restaurants in South Delhi region have already received notices directing the establishments to discontinue coal based cooking by now. Much to dismay among the business folks from the industry, quite a few have already made the switch to more eco-friendly gas tandoors to comply with the latest order to prevent unwanted hassle with the agencies. Owner of Local & The Junkyard Café stated, “Even as the restaurants in south Delhi have received a notice from the SDMC, the restaurants in CP haven’t received notification yet. After receiving the notice, we ordered gas tandoors and we will try them. Permanent changes can be made only after receiving feedback from the guests. But the big question is, isn’t it energy wastage as both cooking gas and electricity supplies are short?”

A South Delhi local restaurateur was quoted saying, “Delhi has not ordered a blanket ban on the use of coal, it’s one of the suggestions from the NGT. But the authorities are now forcefully implementing it. For foodies, it’s not going to be a welcome change.” The stated hearing by National Green Tribunal was an interim order back in May 31st, 2016 where the tribunal iterated that the usage of coal in tandoor should be stopped. But eatery owners say, they use charcoal instead of coal because of its relatively less potency as a pollutant from its by-product since it contains less sulphur compared to coal.

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