India

The ashes of the power houses becoming a crisis

Apart from power shortage in the country, problems like pollution due to electricity generation are also not less.

Electricity and heat-based enterprises account for 24.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the transport sector accounts for only ten per cent. India ranks fifth in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a matter of concern that the emission of these toxic gases is increasing at a double rate in India. In the coming five years, this pace could increase up to five times.

Apart from power shortage in the country, problems like pollution due to electricity generation are also not less. Sixty per cent of the total electricity generation in the country comes from coal, twenty six per cent from water and only fourteen per cent from other sources, of which uranium or thorium generates only two per cent. That is, there are more coal-fired power stations in the country and these power stations generate a huge amount of waste. More dangerous in this is the ash from burning coal. The matter of concern is that there is no other use of this ashes in the eyes of the government. Therefore, over the years, millions of tonnes of coal waste around the power stations are not only polluting the environment, but also the land and water.

Surprisingly, neither the central government nor the state governments have any plans to dispose of the waste generated from coal-fired power stations. The Ministry of Power believes that it is such a waste material that can not be used in any form. The surprising thing is that today the scientists of the world have found a way to make use of everything on the earth, but till date no better use has been found for the use of waste from coal-fired power plants. Could.

Not that it is of no use. Its use is there, but the government is not paying attention to it. For this reason, no research has been shown about its better use. The developed countries of the world have found a solution to the problem of carbon burial, which was once considered impossible. A method has been found to get rid of the problem of greenhouse gases, but no way has been found to use the waste of millions of tonnes of coal in India.

Thousands of acres of land are becoming barren due to black ash emanating from power houses. The surrounding cultivable land is also becoming barren due to its effect. When there is a strong wind or storm, this black ash mixes in the air and reaches people through breathing and causes other serious diseases including respiratory, skin, eye. Apart from land and air, this waste also poisons the water sources around the power station i.e. canals, ponds and wells. Clearly, ash from coal-fired power plants is a major cause of air pollution and its concern is now clearly visible at global climate conferences.

For example, seeing the black ash emanating from coal-fired power stations in and around Delhi, spread over a large area, one cannot say that it will not be a major cause of environmental problems. In Delhi and Faridabad, the situation is getting serious due to environmental pollution. Millions of people are suffering from serious diseases due to the poison dissolved in the air. Big scientists of the country and abroad are trying to make ‘Pollution free Delhi’, but due to lack of solution, the problem is taking a formidable form day by day.

More research is being done abroad on the problem of greenhouse gases than in India. While the capital of India ranks second among the most polluted cities in the world. According to the Word Resource Institute, Washington, energy contributes seventy-three percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity and heat-based enterprises account for 24.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the transport sector accounts for only ten per cent. India ranks fifth in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a matter of concern that the emission of these toxic gases is increasing at a double rate in India. In the coming five years, this pace could increase up to five times. Therefore, there is a need to give serious attention to the danger of waste generation from thermal power plants and find a perfect way to use it.

The current generation from nuclear power plants in India is only two percent of the total production. There is still no broad consensus in the country regarding nuclear power plants. The option of generating electricity from coal or water by taking the government seems hassle-free. But the problem is that coal and water are not getting enough power to meet the requirement. Therefore, it is likely that more coal-fired power stations will be set up. In such a situation, the problem of waste coming out of these power houses will increase even in those areas where it was not there till now. In such a situation, in the coming time, coal-fired power plants can come in front of us as a big problem.

The question is, what should be the way to dispose of these wastes? This may not be a problem in the eyes of the government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but it is a big problem. Even though it is not being looked into today, but in the coming times, the government and environmentalists will have to pay attention to this. And to get rid of the problem arising out of it, some concrete solution has to be found.

All the coal-fired power stations in the country generate at least one hundred million tonnes of ash in a year. The power houses neither have any government rules and orders for its disposal, nor do the power house managers find any option to dispose of it. Even though advertisements keep coming out in the newspapers to publicly pick it up for free. As far as its use is concerned, generally, some of this coal ash is used by the cement manufacturing companies. Sometimes it is used for road construction. But this use is not so much that the problem of disposal of ash is solved.

So the question arises, where can it be used correctly? The government may not consider it as useless, but it can be used better in building a bitumen road. Not only this, in remote villages where there is no means of reaching, it can be put to better use. Apart from this, it can also be used better in bridging potholes. With this, while the problem of pollution will be solved, thousands of acres of land, which is not being used due to this waste, will be used. But for this a comprehensive initiative is needed at the government level, which is lacking.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is a young entrepreneur who is professional full time tech, travel and coding enthusiast with a post graduation degree of Master's of Computer Applications. He is a founder of Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Branding Panther and Digital Leader.

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