Determine penalty on thermal plants for not utilising fly ash causing pollution: NGT

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board to determine the amount of compensation to be levied on thermal power plants that are not utilising the fly ash causing pollution. The Union Environment Ministry and the CPCB were also directed to file further status reports on the same.

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel observed, “Non-utilisation and improper disposal of fly ash leads to increase in air pollution and causes severe health problems. It also affects horticulture and agricultural crops. At present, there is increase in ash pond areas and increased height of ash dykes on account of increase of fly ash.”

Major pollutants

In its order, the Bench further said, “Apart from air pollution, there is pollution of surface water and groundwater. Major pollutants in fly ash are arsenic and mercury. Both the said pollutants are injurious for land and waterbodies. Thus, there is need for 100% utilisation of fly ash by all possible means such as conversion to ash-based products, preventing its washing away or flying in the air.”

The green panel also noted that the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) had failed to ensure proper monitoring and compliance mechanism in spite of issuing notifications on the same.

A report filed by the Ministry on November 3, said that guidelines for disposal or utilisation of the fly ash for reclamation of low-lying areas and in using of abandoned mines, in consultation with the CPCB and the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, had been published in March 2019.

The direction came when the green panel was hearing a plea on the management of fly ash generated by thermal power plants.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 4:30:07 PM |

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