| PK Mohapatra speaks at the news meet on Monday. Picture by Amit Kumar |
The Kahalgaon unit of NTPC has geared up to counter the fly ash problem at its plant.
Fly ash is a fine, glass powder recovered from the gases of burning coal during the production of electricity. These micron-sized earth elements consist primarily of silica, alumina and iron. Fly ash closely resembles volcanic ashes used in production of the earliest known hydraulic cement about 2,300 years ago.
The plant management has formulated a pursuable strategy to deal with fly ash.
Addressing reporters on Monday night at NTPC’s Kahalgaon premises, the general manager (in-charge), P.K Mohapatra, said: “The plant with a production capacity of 2,340MW, produces 30 lakh tonnes of fly ash every year. We have fixed utilisation target of 20 lakh tonnes out of the total produce to different areas. At present, we are providing 8 lakh tonnes in cement industry, 4 lakh tonnes in brick and related industries and 5 lakh tonnes for land filling.”
He added that the corporation has decided to utilise more fly ash in the coming years.
When asked about the fly ash perils that pose a threat to health to people residing within the 15-20km radius of the super thermal power plant, Mohapatra said: “Such problems sometimes arise during the transportation of fly ash from one place to another. We have arranged sufficient water sprinklers in the fly ash lagoons. Some transporters, who do not obey the specific norms while carrying fly ash, land up flouting ecological imbalance. We are also looking into such activities too.”
The problem in Kahalgaon is that the entire town and its adjourning areas are in the grip of fly ash, a coal byproduct that flies from the NTPC plant. Loading of bags filled with fly ash on the railway tracks and at the Kahalgaon railway station has compounded the problem for many in the nearby areas.
Mohapatra also said during the interaction that there was no coal crisis for the plant after a deal was sealed with Eastern Coalfields Limited, whose Rajmahal Coalfields in Godda supplies coal to the unit.
According to him, the plant required 50,000 tonnes of coal daily. “Adequate coal is being supplied from the Rajmahal pits and other parts of the country. Thus, there is no fuel crisis at present. We have 9 lakh tonnes of coal in our stock as of today,” he said.