NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a meeting last month, has asked for multiplying the fly ash usage “by 10 times” in a time-bound manner in the country to ensure clean air and mitigating the adverse impact on environment, ET has learnt.
The secretaries of environment, rural development, housing and urban affairs, and road transport and highways are now set to meet to prepare a plan after Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, chaired a meeting on August 7 on the ‘National Clean Air Programme’, directing discussions be held on a “10 times increase” target in the use of fly ash.
As per a note of the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council circulated to the said ministries, it is proposed to make use of fly ash bricks mandatory for all construction agencies of the Centre such as CPWD, DDA, NCBC, DMRC, CGEWHO and HPL, etc.
Agencies such as the CPWD, NHAI and state PWDs may also be mandated to use fly ash in all highways, roads and flyover projects while fly ash-based projects could also be made mandatory for use in government schemes such as the PM Awas Yojana, AMRUT and Smart Cities Mission.
As per another note circulated by the Central Electricity Authority (CEC), it has been mentioned that the utilisation of fly ash is in the range of 6-7% in making fly ash-based building products and mine filling, whereas it is less than 5% in the construction of roads.
“These areas have a large potential of fly ash utilisation which needs to be explored for increasing the overall utilisation of fly ash in the country,” the CEC note said.
About 63.28% utilisation of fly ash was achieved in 2016-17, as per CEC. Right now, every construction agency engaged in construction of buildings, roads or flyovers within a radius of 300 km from a coal or lignite-based thermal power plant are mandated to use fly ash products in every construction project. What’s being proposed now to give a fresh fillip to fly ash utilisation is to make this mandatory for all government projects.
As per the note circulated to the ministries, the huge chunk of fly ash lying near thermal power stations is creating an environmental hazard. “There is a need for a complete ban on the use of clay bricks within 300 km radius of thermal power plants through a government notification. All tenders of central, state and local government shall have provisions for fly ash bricks/blocks and other fly ash-based products only,” as per the proposal in the note.
Source: Economic Times