Fly ash sails from Bihar to Assam

Altogether 1,233 tonnes of fly ash are being ferried on the waterways from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Assam.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Guwahati
  • Published 31.08.18
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An IWAI barge carries bags of fly ash (below) from Kahalgaon to Pandu

Guwahati: Altogether 1,233 tonnes of fly ash are being ferried on the waterways from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Assam.

The waterways officials said this could be one of the biggest consignments being transported on the waterways.

The fly ash (by product from National Thermal Power Corporation's (NTPC) Kahalgaon power plant) was flagged off at Kahalgaon (NW-1, the Ganga) for Pandu (NW-2 , the Brahmaputra) on Thursday.

This is the first time that the NTPC is moving its products on the waterways to Assam.

The consignment will take at least 20 days to reach Pandu covering a distance of 2,085km. The consignment is being moved in two barges of 1,000 tonnes capacity each.

Fly ash is in huge demand as raw material in cement and brick industry and is also used for the purpose of land filling.

An IWAI official said consignment is to be delivered to Star Cements for use in their cement plant in Guwahati.

"Thursday's movement will evince confidence and interest in the inland waterways industry and vessel operators as more than 10 such pilot movements have been successfully completed lately on various stretches of national waterways. In July, IWAI launched a dedicated portal 'FOCAL' to connect cargo owners and shippers with real time data on availability of vessels," an IWAI official said.

"Sustainable fly ash utilisation is one of the key initiatives at the NTPC. There is a huge demand for fly ash but because of the limitation of transporting it through only railway system, not enough can be utilised," an NTPC official said.

The power corporation said fly ash is being regularly transported in 40kg bags through the railway wagons to cement plants located in the Northeast from the NTPC-Kahalgaon.

"There is a huge demand for fly ash in this region, but because of limitation of availability of railway rakes and route congestion, only 15-22 rakes per month are being dispatched from the NTPC Kahalgaon plant as against the potential of about 30 rakes per month. This initiative shall enhance and give impetus to the utilization of fly ash," an official of the power corporation said.

IWAI chairman Pravir Pandey said, "More such movements of fly ash and pond ash from the super thermal power plants of the NTPC are being planned on the National Waterway-1."

As part of the IWAI's commitment towards enabling an alternative mode of transport which is environment friendly and cost effective, substantial infrastructure development like multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigation aids are under way.