Staff Reporter :
Khaperkheda TPS also has to restore the ponds to its original state n ‘Remove infrastructure from both ponds’
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), on Tuesday, directed Khaperkheda Thermal Power Station (TPS) to remove the accumulated ash from the Nandgaon and Waregaon ash ponds and also rejuvenate them. MPCB issued a letter to Khaperkheda TPS in this regard within 24 hours of Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray’s visit to Nandgaon village in Khaparkheda. Along with removal of accumulated ash, the Board instructed the TPS management to restore the pond having 258 Ha area so as to achieve its original state of land within 15 days.
The Board also asked Khaperkheda TPS to submit a bank guarantee of Rs 20 lakh in compliance with the direction. “The utilisation of ash of Nandgaon Pond shall be done for ecofriendly use. The transportation of pond ash shall be done in a covered condition to avoid further emissions during the transportation,” the letter stated. The Board also asked Khaperkheda TPS to submit a report on weekly action taken for restoration and utilisation of Nandgaon ash. Environment Minister, on Monday, had visited Nandgaon village and reviewed the situation of the ash pond there and also interacted with villagers facing the problem of fly ash for last many years.
Thackeray, during his visit, directed officials to take appropriate action against the fly ash and also to close the Nandgaon pond permanently. Taking a swift step in this regard, MPCB also asked Khaperkheda TPS to remove existing infrastructure including pipelines laid for disposal of fly ash into the pond permanently within 15 days. In its third direction, MPCB asked the TPS to stop disposal of dry ash, which is generated from Khaperkheda TPS into the Waregaon ash pond immediately. The dry fly ash generated from the Thermal Power Station shall be utilised 100% for ecofriendly use as per the Notification on day to day basis and in no case the ash shall be dispose into the ash pond. Now, the Thermal Power Station has to submit time bound action plan for utilisation of legacy ash accumulated in Waregaon ash pond within 15 days. It also asked the TPS to submit weekly action taken report about utilisation of legacy ash of Waregaon pond. The letter also stated that if the Thermal Power Station fails to comply the directions, then the Board will take legal action for violation of environment norms.