Maharashtra would undertake a study for reducing use of coal in all the thermal power stations in the state in phased manner, disclosed Aditya Thackeray, Environment Minister on Monday.
The minister visited Nandgaon ash pond in the premises of recently closed Khaparkheda Thermal Power Station and there he made the announcement. He also said that Nandgaon and Varegaon ash ponds in the vicinity of the thermal power station would be closed down permanently and the lands would be restored at earliest possible. “We decided to take a review of the activities following complaints lodged by Nandgaon villagers, especially woem,” he said adding he gave instructions to restore the lands within two weeks.
Thackeray further said that efforts would be made for providing measures to control pollution and installing flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) at all the power stations in Maharashtra. The beginning will be made from Koradi and Khaparkheda Thermal Power Stations. As per the Centre’s rule, fly ash would be utilised 100 per cent and it could be used in projects for basic amenities, he assured.
A study would be conducted for the power stations so that old stations would be reduced in phases. Moreover, the authorities would make audit of the measures taken by various power plants and those failing to comply with the directions would face action. A scheme would be formulated for reducing pollution, he pointed out.
On the occasdion, a deputation of villagers from Nandgaon under the leadership of Sarpanch Sonali Manoj Warkhade apprised the minister of problems of possibility of flood due to ash ponds, adverse impact on the nearby agricultural lands, health hazards,unemoployment etc. The minister assured to prepare a scheme for development and employment would be made within ten days.
Leena Buddhe of Cenmtre For Sustainable Development, Ashish Fernandes of Climate Risk Horizon, Nandikesh Shivlingam of Centre For Research On Engery & Clean Air, and others also provided technical information.