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Newly launched ‘polluter pays’ principle for fly ash utilization

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    5th Feb, 2021


The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) issued a draft notification last year for utilisation of fly ash by coal- and lignite-based power plants. Now some amendments are done in it.

What is polluter pays principle?

  • The ‘polluter pays’ principle is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.
    • For example, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a by-product of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal.
  • The polluter pays principle is part of a set of broader principles to guide sustainable development worldwide (formally known as the 1992 Rio Declaration)

Changes introduced by the amendment

  • It has extended the target year for achieving 100 per cent fly ash utilisation to another three to five years for power plants.
  • Power plants have been given an extension of another 10 years to progressively utilise their legacy ash.
  • Introduction of ‘polluter pays’ principle on fly ash utilization.

Fly Ash

  • Ash is the mineral matter left after burning coal.
  • Fly ash includes substantial amounts micron sized earth elements of oxides of silica, aluminum and calcium.
  • Element: Element like Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, lead etc. in trace amount.
  • In a power plant, a major portion of the ash is carried off with flue gases (hence, the term fly ash).
  • Usage: Fly ash is used to make bricks, blocks, tiles, wall panels, cement and other construction materials.
  • Filteration method: It can be filtered using electrostatic precipitators.

India’s fly Ash Utilisation and control policy

  • Taxation: GST rates on fly ash and its products have been reduced to 5%.
  • Portal and Application: To facilitate 100% ash utilization by all coal based thermal power plants, a web portal for monitoring of fly ash generation and utilization data of Thermal Power Plants and a mobile based application titled “ASHTRACK” has been launched.
  • Extention for usage: Earlier, use of fly ash was allowed within 100 kms radius of power plant, now it has been extended to 300 kms

Verifying, please be patient.