UPSC Exam   »   Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission

Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission


Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission: Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Fly ash UPSC: Context

  • Recently, National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the constitution of a ‘Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission’ to ‘coordinate and monitor issues relating to the handling and disposal of fly ash and associated issues.’


Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission: Key points

  • The Mission is to be jointly headed by the secretaries, of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Union Ministry of Coal and Power and the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The secretary of MoEF&CC will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
  • The Mission may also monitor scientific management and utilisation of fly ash by power projects outside Singrauli and Sonbhadra.
  • The Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission is expected to streamline the fly ash management process.
  • The Mission will hold its first meeting within one month to assess the fly ash management situation in coal power plants. The mission will also prepare action plans to build road maps for ash utilisation by individual plants.


Fly Ash Notification, 2021

  • In December 2021, the Government came out with Fly Ash Notification, 2021.
  • It has made provision for the ‘enforcement, monitoring, audit and reporting’ of the progress of fly ash utilisation and implementation of the clauses of the notification by coal thermal power plants and user agencies.
  • The Notification holds the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) responsible for monitoring the effective implementation of the notification.
  • The Mission, along with the above bodies, also extends the responsibility of fly ash management to the chief secretaries of the states.
  • The Notification mandates the individual thermal power plant to upload monthly information regarding ash generation and utilisation on its web portal.


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Fly Ash Notification 2021 and Fly Ash Management and Utilisation Mission


Sr No Provisions Fly Ash Notification, 2021 Fly Ash Management and Utiliwation Mission
1 Monitoring of timely fly ash utilisation + +
2 Developing roadmap for utilisation and disposal of entire legacy fly ash for all the power plants located in clusters or standalone +
3 Work on upscaling fly ash utilisation — tagging user agencies / recommend ash utilisation avenues + +
4 Third Party compliance audit for ash disposal by the thermal power plants +
6 Safety audits of the ash dykes + +
7 On-site and off-site crisis management plans with regard to fly ash ponds and dykes +
8 Guideline for ‘siting, design and engineering standards for the location, disposal, maintenance and regulation of ash ponds’ +
9 The ‘victims’ of the environmental damage such as ash dyke breach from coal power plants may also approach the Mission for statutory compensation +


What is fly ash?

  • Fly ash is an unwanted unburnt residue of coal combustion in a coal thermal power plant.
  • It is emitted along with flue gases during the burning of coal in a furnace and collected using the electrostatic precipitators.
  • Gross under-utilisation of this by-product over the years has led to the accumulation of 1,670 million tonnes of fly ash.


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