The Upalokayukta has directed the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) to ensure proper disposal of fly ash generated by the Raichur Thermal Power Station, following complaints from the residents of air and water pollution caused by the coal residues.
Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi has also advised the KPCL managing director to submit a report on the action taken in this regard by December 2.
The residents of Raichur, especially those living in the vicinity of the power station, in their complaint stated that out of the eight units of the thermal station, only up to 75 per cent of the fly ash was utilised by the cement industry and the rest was being discharged into ponds.
The ponds have reached the saturation point and, if the fly ash continues to be released into them, then vast tracts of surrounding agricultural land and water would be polluted causing serious health problems, the residents stated.
According to the complaint, the Union government has permitted cement factories to utilise fly ash for manufacturing cement.
Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi said, “During my last visit to the Raichur Thermal Power Station, I was told the KPCL had acquired 600 acres to create two artifical ponds, each of 300 acres. One such pond is already saturated and I was told the said entire 300 acres of agricultural land had become barren. The other pond too is partially filled.
“Disposal of fly ash should not only be scientific but also generate revenue for the corporation. When fly ash from seven units can be sold to cement companies, why is the rest of the ash not disposed of the same way.”
He said there was also another complaint about improper transportation of fly ash by road, which has been causing air pollution and damaging roads.
“Generation of power is very important for development. However, it cannot be at the cost of public health. Already, a vast area of land is wasted by creating two artifical ponds and it is also causing air pollution.
I have directed the KPCL to submit a report whether any scientific method is being adopted for disposing of fly ash and why not all the fly ash be sold to cement and brick manufacturing companies. I have also asked the KPCL officials to submit a report on whether strict norms are being followed in the matter of transportation of fly ash by road,” Justice Adi said.
Justice Subhash B Adi, Upalokayukta: During my last visit to the Raichur Thermal Power Station, I was told the KPCL had acquired 600 acres to create two artifical ponds, each of 300 acres. One such pond is already saturated and I was told the said entire 300 acres of agricultural land had become barren. The other pond too is partially filled.