NGT directs all states and UTs to expeditiously submit action plan on use of fly ash
The National Green Tribunal has directed all states and union territories to expeditiously submit their action plans to the environment ministry for utilisation of fly ash generated by thermal power plants. A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore noted that despite its January 3 order, none of the states have submitted an action plan till date.
The green panel was informed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that only eight states have submitted their information with regard to fly ash, but they too have not given any action plan so far. “We have been informed by the counsel for the MoEF that eight states have submitted their information but not the action plan so far. The relevant notification was issued by MoEF long back.
The very purpose of issuance of notification is frustrated if follow up action is not taken up promptly. “Therefore, we direct MoEF to expedite the matter and collect the action plan from the respective states immediately, preferably before the next date,” the bench said. The matter will be heard next on March 20. The tribunal had earlier said that every state and Union territory was under obligation to implement the notifications issued by the ministry from time to time and dispose of the ash produced by power plants in an environment-friendly manner. The NGT was hearing separate pleas filed by Shantanu Sharma, Anupam Raghav, Sandplast (India) Ltd and others seeking utilisation of the fly ash as per 1999, 2003 and 2009 notifications issued by the environment ministry.
As per the notifications, fly ash can be used in “construction activity such as in road laying, embankments or used as land fill to reclaim low lying areas including backfilling in abandoned mines or pitheads or for any such other use as permitted strictly in accordance with the provisions of the notifications”.