Fly ash leak ruining Kosasthalaiyar, say fishermen

‘There is at least one leak in pipeline’

Updated - November 18, 2021 04:18 am IST

Published - November 18, 2021 12:46 am IST - CHENNAI

Fly ash leaking from a pipeline belonging to the North Chennai Thermal Power Station near Ennore.

Fly ash leaking from a pipeline belonging to the North Chennai Thermal Power Station near Ennore.

Activists and fishermen have complained about fly ash making its way into the Kosasthalaiyar from the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS). This was due to a leak in the pipeline carrying ash to the ash pond, said fishermen.

“There is at least one leak in the pipeline and it has not been attended to and this despite there being a team to ensure that leaks are plugged immediately. This site is where dredging was done recently, which means the effort has only been a wasted one,” said R.L. Srinivasan, a fisherman of Kattupakkam in Ennore.

Desappan, a fisherman of Nettukuppam in Ennore, said the fly ash had ruined the mangroves in the area.

“By the time the ash is carried to the pond, it leaks at several places. When it washes into the water, it reaches the creek and spoils the environment. The fish turn grey. Any number of complaints have been made but to no avail,” he said.

A senior official of Tangedco, confirming a leak in the pipeline conveying the ash to the ash pond, said the leak was immediately attended to by the maintenance officials of the plant.

‘Regularly monitored’

The official said the NCTPS comprising Stage 1 and 2 had pipelines for the nine thermal plants for evacuating the coal ash stretching for 40 km, which is being regularly monitored by the maintenance staff.

As complaints of pipeline bursts were reported regularly, a separate team from the Environment section had been formed and it would patrol the pipelines to inform the senior officials in the power plants in case of any leak in future.

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