Special Correspondent

"India produces 120 million tonnes a year"

  • NLC accounted for 6-10% of fly ash production
  • Cost-effective highways using fly ash composites

    NEYVELI: Fly ash has much wider applications in the construction industry than in the road sector. Its supply potential and the easy technique to manufacture the building material have made it a viable proposition, according to Rajendra Ratnoo, District Collector.

    Speaking at a workshop on fly ash products, jointly organised by the District Industries Centre and the Neyveli Lignite Corporation here on Saturday, Mr. Ratnoo exhorted women self-help groups to take to manufacturing fly ash products.

    Of the total production of 120 million tonnes a year of fly ash in the country, the NLC accounted for 6-10 per cent. The NLC produced 10 lakh tonnes and soon its Mine-II would yield another seven lakh tonnes.

    Mr. Ratnoo said fly ash earlier had limited use in the road sector: for it was being used for levelling the road margins and to spread over the sticky tarred surface.

    Of late, the construction industry had discovered its utility value and there was not a dearth in supply. Fly ash bricks were cheaper than conventional clay bricks: while the former cost Rs 1.40 a piece, the latter would cost Rs 2.50.

    He called upon the SHGs to form a federation for setting up a unit for manufacturing the fly ash products for which the banks were ready to extend financial assistance.

    Fly ash road

    The speakers at the workshop said NLC had set up a semi-automatic plant with an installed capacity of producing 8,000 fly ash bricks a day. The annual production of the plant was 10 lakh bricks, and the NLC had so far used 50 lakh such bricks in construction activities.

    The NLC had taken up a project to develop a cost-effective high performance highways using flyash composites. The Union Ministry of Coal had funded the project Rs.38 lakh, in which Anna University was acting as a co-investigating agency.

    Model road

    Already, a model road had been laid for a length of 150 metres on the NLC premises, and after studying its utility, another stretch of 1.5 km of road would be taken up.

    V. Sethuraman, NLC Director (Power), Rajaganesh, General Manager, DIC, P. Ravikumar, Project Officer (Mahalir Thittam), and Suba. Rajanbabu, Project Officer (Vazhnthu Kattuvom) spoke.