01 Feb Fly ash management and utilization machine to be established- NGT
Fly ash management and utilization machine to be established- Today Current Affairs
(GS Paper-II, Polity,Constitution,Governance,Social Justice and International Relations)
Source: Down to earth
Why in news?
After many cases were registered where relief was sought from NGT against violation by coal thermal power plants, NGT ordered the establishment of the ‘Fly Ash Management and Utilization Mission’.
- The primary goal of the mission is to monitor and co-ordinate the issues related to holding and disposing of fly ash.
- Secretaries of the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change and Union Ministry of Coal and Power and Chief secretaries of UP and MP will head the mission jointly.
- The nodal agency for coordination and compliance would be secretary of MoEF&CC.
What is fly ash?
- Fly ash is unburnt residue produced during the combustion of coal in the thermal power plant. It is a very fine powder with a tendency to travel far and wide.
- The particles of fly ash are rich in oxides and are composed of alumina silica ,oxides of calcium and are composed of magnesium and toxic heavy metals like arsenic lead, cobalt and copper.
- The fly ash is collected with the help of the electrostatic precipitators before the flute glasses reach the chimney of the coal fired power plant.
Advantages: The Hindu Analysis
- Fly ash can reduce and replace the cement upto 35% in construction activities like Road building , which will cut down the construction cost.
- It is light in weight and offers high strength and durability. At the same time it also acts as a better fill material for concrete roads and Road embankments.
- Fly ash has the potential to increase the crop yield and enhance the water holding capacity of the land.
- Other uses include reclamation of wasteland and filling up the abandoned mines.
Disadvantages: The Hindu Analysis
- Fly ash is a toxic pollutant which has the potential to trigger respiratory problems like strokes, cancer.
- If it is not properly captured and disposed of it can certainly pollute air and water considerably. It can cause leaching of heavy metals into the ground.
- Fly ash impacts the root system of the plants and when present in air it can slowly settle on leaves and crops in the field impacting its productivity.
Fly ash notification 2021: The Hindu Analysis
- It was issued under the Environment (protection )Act 1986 , some provisions are as follows ;
- It Prohibited the disposal and dumping of fly ash in water, air, soil. The centre has made it compulsory to ensure 100% utilization of the fly ash in an friendly manner by such plants.
- Power plants are required to deliver the fly ash for the project of its utilization free of cost. However they can charge the transportation cost.
- In case of non compliance the power plants will be charged with environmental compensation.
- CPCB and state pollution control board( SPCB) / Pollution Control Committee are responsible for monitoring the effective implementation of the mandate.
Other initiatives: The Hindu Analysis
- Government has launched a web portal and mobile based application titled ASHTRACK to monitor the generation and utilization of ash from the thermal power plant.
- NTPC has developed the chief way of transporting fly ash from power plants in bulk to cement plants.
- Giving more focus on research and development will help increase the efficiency of power plant and reduce the fly as generation.
- It is vital to improve the proper management of fly ash which would be beneficial to not only power plants but to the environment as a whole.