Ineffective utilisation of Fly ash a growing environment threat in Jharkhand

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|| By D K ||

Bokaro: Jharkhand lacks vision in sustainable utilization of fly ash produced in its thermal power plants.

This is not only causing serious environment threat, but also fail in attracting investors and companies engaged in manufacturing of fly ash based products in the state. In this scenario when environment protection has become a major issue across the globe, ignorance of state government over proper utilization of fly ash is a matter of concern.

Thermal power plants operational in Jharkhand are producing about 61 lakh tonnes of fly ash every year. Of which, Bokaro district situated 120 kilometers from the state capital alone boasts four power plants producing 30 lakh tonnes of fly ash annually. President of All India Fly Ash Products Manufacturer Association, Bhairav Das Mal said “at a time when other states like Karnataka, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and others are focused on

proper utilization of fly ash, Jharkhand lacks vision”.

Mal who is also permanent invitee member of Fly Ash and Slag Committee of Niti Aayog said “Fly ash, which is produced during burning of coals in thermal power plants and seen as industrial waste about a decade ago, is now been identified as a commodity that is wealth generator. Sustainable utilization of fly ash would not only save environment, but also boost industrialization with coming of fly-ash products manufacturers in this region”.

Fly ash has been shown to have various potential uses in brick manufacturing, light weight aggregates, cement manufacturing, concrete, roads and embankments. According to a recent survey, about 500 million tonnes of coal is consumed annually by 140 thermal power plants in the country, which annually generates 235 million tonnes of fly ash. It is projected to exceed by 325 million tonne by 2017 and 1000 million tonne by 2031. For

electricity generation, India depends mostly 60% on coal based thermal power plants. “Utilization of fly ash has become a need,” said Mal.

Mal visited Bokaro on Thursday and met with the CEO, Bokaro Power Supply Company Private Limited (BPSCL), K Harinarayana, head of environment, Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL), Navin Prakash Srivastava and district disaster management officer, Shakti Kumar. He discussed the initiatives took by them related to utilization of fly ash.

Mal raised concern over abundance of fly ash being dumped in ponds or mounds in power plants here. “Even Niti Aayog is acquainted with fly ash utilization problems in Jharkhand,” he added.

In Bokaro, there are four power plants. BPSCL produces 7 lakh tonnes of fly ash every year, state-run- Tenughat Thermal Power Plant has a fly ash production of 5 lakh tonnes and Chandrapura Thermal and Bokaro Thermal Power Stations, the two units of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), produces 14 and 5 lakh tonnes respectively in a year.

The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSCPC) has directed power plants to ensure successful utilization of flyash rather dumping it. BPSCL and Chandrapura Thermal Power Plants have come up installing fly ash bricks manufacturing units,