On Monday (February 10) National Steel Power Corporation Limited (NSPCL) organized a workshop on the “Utilisation of Fly Ash Bricks” at Durgapur’s Srijani Auditorium. At the seminar senior officials of the Thermal Power Station and Fly-Ash brick manufacturers expressed anguish over the fact that the state’s Public Works Department hasn’t listed Fly Ash bricks as a mandatory ingredient for building construction.
At the workshop Mr. K R C Murty, GM, NSPCL – the joint venture of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) announced: We are introducing collection of dry Fly-Ash from the Electro Static Precipitator of our plant and not from the ash-pond, which would benefit the brick manufacturers as they won’t have to go for mass drying anymore.” For this, the NSPCL has invested Rs 8 crore and Mr. Murty said: “By the end of March the facility would be available.”
Fly ash is a waste produced due to coal combustion in thermal power plants. In India, large quantities of fly ash are being generated, as most of our energy demand is met through coal based thermal power stations.
Fly ash brick units are seen as a solution to pollution caused by the thermal power plants. In 1999 the Centre had published a notification for mass use of Fly Ash bricks in the 50 Km area surrounding the Thermal Power Stations, which has been enhanced up to a 100 km radius in the latest notification published in 2009. Also, the direction had stated that “Fly-Ash” to the end users would be provided free of cost till the end of 2014.
Secretary of the Fly Ash Brick Manufacturer’s Society (FABMAS),’ Mr Santosh Tantia alleged: “In spite of the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF), lack of initiatives by the state government is responsible for poor demand of Fly Ash bricks.”
Most Fly Ash brick manufacturers regretted that the government was doing very little to promote clean technologies in spite of having a National Action Plan for Climate Change. There has been no prospective planning.
Using fly ash products is eco-friendly firstly because conventional clay bricks are made by using the fertile top layer of the earth’s surface which in turn reduces soil fertility of soil making it unfit for cultivation. Secondly, by means of manufacturing Fly Ash bricks, the environmental threats of fly ash can be managed well.
West Bengal has 140 Fly-Ash manufacturing units spread across the state, of which 40 are in Burdwan itself. At present nearly 15 Million ton Fly-Ash is being generated by 17 Thermal Power Station’s in the state annually.
In 2011-12 year, 131 Million tons of Fly Ash was produced and it is expected to rise 300 Million Tons by the end of 2016-17 year.