Odisha to Formulate Master Plan for Disposal of Fly Ash

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BHUBANEWAR: Odisha government is seriously contemplating to formulate a master plan to effectively and permanently deal with the problem of rising environmental pollution caused due to fly ash in the state. State Forest and Environment Minister Bijoyshree Routray said he would ask the State Pollution Control Board to seek the opinion of experts in the country to permanently resolve the issue.

Mr Routray said if needed the opinion of the experts from abroad would also be sought to find a solution to the problem. The Minister said fly ash and ash pond had emerged as a big problem for the state. While many industrial units and thermal power plants were generating a huge quantity of fly ash many more big plants scheduled to come up in next few years will further aggravate the situation by releasing flay ash.

Given the quantity of fly ash to be produced by these plants it would be a problem to dispose of the fly ash, he said. Expressing his deep concern over the issue, Mr Routray said some sort of concrete steps would have to be taken at the earliest. The Minister was reacting in the wake of the breach of the ash pond of Hindalco at Hirakud in Sambalpur district recently.

The fly ash slurry ingressed into the agricultural field and damaged crops over several acres of land after the ash pond breached. The Odisha State Pollution Control Board(OSPCB) had ordered closure of all the four power generating units of Hindalco following the incident.

The company in adherence to the direction had already closed down two of its four power units and undertaking the repairing of the ash pond on war footing.

(22 August 2012)




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