Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission

National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently directed to constitute a ‘Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission’

Highlights

  • NGT passed this order by taking note of ‘unscientific handling and storage’ of fly ash by coal thermal power stations.
  • For instance, it took note of draining of industrial effluents and fly ash in the Rihand Reservoir.

Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission

Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission seeks to monitor the disposal of annual stock of unutilised fly ash. It will also look after how 1,670 million tonnes of legacy (accumulated) fly ash could be utilized in least hazardous manner. Mission will further see, how all safety measures could be taken by power plants.

First meeting

The Fly Ash Management Mission will hold its first meeting within one month for assessing fly ash management situation in coal power plants. It will also prepare action plans for building road maps for ash utilisation by individual plants. Under the mission, meetings will be conducted each month, for a year.

Aim of the mission

The Fly Ash Management Mission will be launched with the objective of coordinating and monitoring issues related to handling and disposal of fly ash and other associated issues.

Who will head the mission?

The Mission will be jointly headed by secretaries of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Union Ministry of Coal and Power. They will also keep on board the chief secretaries of respective states where this mission is being implemented. Secretary of MoEF&CC will act as the nodal agency for compliance and coordination.

How is this different from Fly Ash Notification 2021?

Government had issued the ‘Fly Ash Notification 2021’ under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The notification stops dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal based thermal power plants into water bodies or land.  Government had made it mandatory for plants to ensure 100% utilization of ash in an eco-friendly manner. Under new rules, non-compliant power plants will be penalised with environmental compensation of Rs 1,000 per tonne on unutilised ash at the end of each financial year.

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