Vidarbha Environmental Action Group (VEAG) has welcomed the new notification on fly ash issued by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change as if implemented strictly will save Vidarbha from further pollution, save hundreds of acres of fertile land from ash dumping, prevent air, water and land pollution, save irrigation and drinking water.
The fly ash disposal requires huge quantity of water and this recent step encourages entrepreneurs to set up fly ash based industries, said Sudhir Paliwal, Convener of VEAG here on Monday.
He said that since last several years Vidarbha region had become a major hub of coal based power generation and that changed priority for allotment of water from irrigation to industry. The people of Vidarbha are risking their lives, health and parting with precious fertile land and water for generation of electricity for entire Maharashtra. In order to increase utilisation of ash, the ministry had issued one notification in 1999 and amended from time to time, however the utilisation targets could not be achieve d. Therefore, this new notification based on Polluter Pay Principal was issued recently so that 100 per cent fly ash can be utilised, he pointed out.
As per the notification, every coal or lignite based thermal power plant, including captive or co-generating stations or both, shall be primarily responsible to ensure full utilisation of ash – fly ash and botton ash – generated by it in an eco-friendly manner only for following purposes. The purposes include: Fly ash based products such as bricks, blocks, tiles, fibre cement sheets, pipes, boards, panels, cement manufacturing, ready mix concrete, construction of road/embankment, ash and geo-polymer based construction materials, construction of dams, filling low lying areas, mine voids etc.
Paliwal pointed out that non-compliant power plants would have to pay environmental compensation of Rs 1000/- per ton on unutilised ash during the end of financial year, transporter would have to pay Rs 1500/- per ton if mis-delivered the ash to unauthorised users, purchasers would have to pay Rs 1500/- per ton if failed to use ash in eco-friendly manner and others.