Appreciating the criticality of ash disposal from NALCO’s Captive Power Plant at Angul, Shri Debi Prasad Mishra, Minister of Forests & Environment, Govt. of Odisha, held a meeting with Shri B.L. Bagra, CMD, NALCO, on Monday evening.
Shri Mishra appraised the plans prepared by NALCO and advised to evacuate maximum quantity of ash from its existing ash ponds for utilization in low-lying areas and abandoned stone quarry voids. Besides, he suggested that pond ash could also be utilized in construction of roads, viz. Puri-Cuttack National Highway, Sambalpur-Manguli National Highway and Angul-Chhendipada-Budhapal State Highway. In this regard, the Minister assured NALCO the full support of the State Govt. to pursue the matter with National Highway Authority of India and Works Dept., Govt. of Odisha. The Minister also advised to expedite the construction of Ash Pond-4 and Lean Slurry Pipeline to evacuate ash into mine voids.
In turn, NALCO requested the State Govt. to grant permission for raising the level of ash pond dykes from 107 mtr. RL to 110 mtr. RL as per the technical design submitted by Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. However, the State Pollution Control Board, Odisha (SPCB) reiterated the stand of the Ash Pond Safety Committee restraining further increase in the dyke level. In this context, the Minister agreed to have a third opinion from any reputed IIT, to be referred by SPCB.
Finally, the Minister advised NALCO authorities to take care of the local needs of Angul-Talcher area and assured support of District Administration to maintain harmony.
Shri R.K. Singh, MLA, Angul, Shri Khageshwar Behera, MLA, Chhendipada, Shri R.K. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Dept. of Forests & Environment, Shri Dinesh Singh, Director-Environment, Shri Siddhanta Das, Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board, Odisha were notably present in this meeting. On behalf of NALCO, Shri S.S. Mahapatra, Director (Production) and Shri K.S. Sreedhara, Executive Director (Production) accompanied Shri Bagra.