UPRVUNL in a fix over dis­posal of tonnes of fly ash

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Lucknow - Bra­jen­dra K Parashar [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

LUCKNOW: Lakhs of tons of undis­posed fly ash (which is pro­duced when coal is burnt at the ther­mal power plants) has be­come a prover­bial al­ba­tross around the neck of the UP Ra­jya Vidyut Ut­padan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL), the gov­ern­ment-owned power gen­er­at­ing com­pany.

The Union min­istry of road sur­face and high­ways is mount­ing pres­sure on UPRVUNL to make the fly ash avail­able to the con­struc­tion agen­cies for its use in the con­struc­tion of roads, dams etc within 300 km ra­dius of the ther­mal plants where the unutilised fly ash is dumped.

But this is not the cause of worry for the UPRVUNL which will, in fact, be more than happy to part with the fly ash even if it has to pro­vide it free of cost to any agency.

What re­ally per­turbs the cor­po­ra­tion is the fact that the min­istry has asked it to bear the cost of trans­porta­tion of the fly ash to the place where it is re­quired to be used in con­struc­tion of roads, high­ways etc. The au­thor­i­ties feel that the cash-strapped cor­po­ra­tion could not bear this ex­tra bur­den un­til and un­less it in­creases the cost of elec­tric­ity sold to the UP Power Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd (UPPCL) which will fi­nally shift the bur­den on to the con­sumers.

“As per our cal­cu­la­tion the cost of power might go up by 40 paise per unit if the UPRVUNL is forced to make the fly ash avail­able to the road mak­ing agen­cies and bear the trans­porta­tion cost too,” UPRVUNL di­rec­tor, tech­ni­cal, BS Ti­wari said, “This is why we have re­quested the Cen­tral gov­ern­ment to re­visit no­ti­fi­ca­tion,” he said, adding “On an av­er­age the trans­porta­tion of the fly ash may cost us Rs 1,700 per ton.” The Cen­tre’s gazette no­ti­fi­ca­tion of Jan­uary, 2016, said, “The cost of trans­porta­tion of ash for road con­struc­tion projects shall be borne by coal based ther­mal power plants and the cost of the trans­porta­tion be­yond the ra­dius of 100 km and upto 300 km shall be shared equally be­tween the user and the ther­mal plant.”

The same no­ti­fi­ca­tion that be­came ef­fec­tive from Jan­uary 2018 also asked the state au­thor­i­ties to en­sure manda­tory use of ash based bricks or other prod­ucts in all gov­ern­ment schemes like Prad­han Mantri Gramin Yo­jana and also en­sure that a MoU is signed be­tween ther­mal plants and the con­struc­tion agen­cies. “Now, with a lot of roads, high­ways, ex­press­ways etc com­ing up in the Pur­van­chal, the con­struc­tion agen­cies are mount­ing pres­sure on UPRVUNL to sign a MoU for the unutilised ash in Sonbhadra re­gion,” sources said.

Cor­po­ra­tion’s ther­mal plants to­gether con­sume around 60,000 tons of coal and pro­duce around 20,000 tons of ash per day. While the cor­po­ra­tion is able to dis­pose of the ash to ce­ment fac­to­ries at the Parichha and Har­d­u­a­ganj ther­mal plants, the same is not pos­si­ble in Obra and An­para in Sonbhadra as there is no de­mand for the ash in the re­gion. “We al­ready have 270 acre pond full of more than 7 lakh MT of ac­cu­mu­lated undis­posed fly ash pro­duced from An­para and Obra ther­mal plants that to­gether gen­er­ate around 11,000 tons of ash ev­ery day,” Ti­wari said. “The cor­po­ra­tion had even made avail­able Rs 35 lakh to the Sonbhadra dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion to set up units for man­u­fac­tur­ing ash based bricks in the re­gion to get rid of the undis­posed ash. But it will be be­yond our means to bear the cost of trans­port­ing lakhs of tons of fly ash to con­struc­tion sites,” he added. Sources said not just the ut­padan nigam but all the gen­er­a­tors, in­clud­ing the NTPC, who had coal fired plants in Sonbhadra re­gion were fac­ing the same prob­lem.

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