The Central Pollution Control Board in collaboration with the Central Electricity Authority has issued the Guidelines on Design, Construction, O&M and Annual Certification of Coal Ash Ponds. These Guidelines were published on 4th July, 2023.
The Guidelines state that because of economic viability, thermal power stations most widely dispose both precipitated fly ash and bottom ash together as a slurry to the pond in which it stored for a longer period. Presently in India, more than 40,000 hectares of land is occupied for storage of this huge quantity of ash. Over a period of time, the fly ash disposal can cause problems like large surface setting lagoons for storage, infiltration of transport of water from deposit to soil, dust carryover in wind from dried lagoons and leads ecological and environmental imbalances if proper safeguards are not taken in their design, construction, operation and maintenance.
Environmental pollution by the coal based thermal power plants are cited to be the major source of pollution affecting the general aesthetics of environment in terms of land use, health hazardous and air, soil and water in particular and thus leads environmental dangers. Therefore safe disposal and gainful utilization are the prime concerns to safe guard the interest of environmental system.