"On long-term basis, we are going to lay a 40-km pipeline for carrying ash and dumping it into coal mine void. Besides, we will be giving a status report every fortnight on the environmental impact", Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman and managing director (CMD) of NTPC told newspersons after meeting the state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Asked if he got any positive response from the Chief Minister, "We have assured the Chief Minister that we are going to restore the ash pond soon. The Chief Minister was gracious enough and held that we must take the process forward but as such he did not give us any assurance".
On slippage of the company's ash pond, Choudhury said, "We have four ash ponds for the 3000 MW Kaniha plant of which one ash pond had subsided. The process of rectification of the ash pond is 40 per cent complete. Whenever there is a 3000 MW plant, naturally a lot of ash is generated. Ash management has to be taken up meticulously and the environment has to be factored in as well".
He admitted that the SPCB authorities have been issuing caution notices for the past three years and the company has been attending to all the notices.
Siddhant Das, member secretary, OSPCB said, "NTPC has presented an 'Action Plan' on ash management. We are examining the proposal and we will take a view shortly. Out of four ash ponds of the power station, one ash pond has slipped and currently only one ash pond is operational. Dyke raising is underway on the other two ash ponds and this is expected to be completed by January 2012. The NTPC authorities have assured us that the slipped ash pond will be restored by mid-August. If the 3000 MW plant runs at full capacity, it will generate 20,000 tonnes of ash per day"
Debi Prasad Mishra, minister for forest & environment said, "The NTPC CMD met me today and made an appeal for restarting operations of the shut down units. The company has submitted an 'Action Plan' and assured us that they will repair the slipped ash pond by August 15. The company's proposal is being examined by the officials of the SPCB."The SPCB on June 28 had slapped a closure notice on four units (4x500MW) of the power plant. The direction followed the sliding of one of ash dykes of the company's ash pond on June 2.
After the subsidence and breach of lagoon-II of Stage-I of NTPC Kaniha over stretch of 200 metres, a thorough inspection was carried out by the officials of SPCB.The pollution board concluded that no storage volume for ash disposal beyond October this year would be available if all the units of the power plant are allowed to operate.
Source- Business Standard