Government introduces penalty for non-compliance of fly ash utilisation

The Government of India has issueda notification on ash utilisation from coal or lignite thermal power plants (TPPs) to ensure 100 per cent utilisation of ash generated by it in an eco-friendly manner.  

The central government has made it mandatory for such plants to ensure 100 per cent utilisation of ash generated during that year, however, in no case shall utilisation fall below 80 per cent in any year,and the TPPswill achieve average ash utilisation of 100 per cent in a three years cycle. The ministry has given a window of ten years to TPPs for progressively utilising unutilised accumulated ash (legacy ash). The obligations for achieving the ash utilisation targets will be applicable from April 1, 2022.Under new rules, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has introduced the penalty regime for the first time for non-compliance based on polluter pays principle.If the TPP has not achieved at least 80 per cent ash utilisation, then suchnon-compliant TPPs will be imposed with an environmental compensation of Rs 1,000 per tonne on unutilised ash during the end of every financial year.The amount, collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) from the TPPs, will be used towards the safe disposal of the unutilised ash. It may also be utilised for advancing research on use of ash including ash-based products.