Report on ash dyke breach at Vidhyanchal TPP and Essar TPP in Singrauli area, Madhya Pradesh, 08/09/2020

  • 08/09/2020

Joint Committee Report submitted in reference to National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench, New Delhi order dated 27.01.2020. In the matter of Original Application No. 117 of 2014 (Shantanu Sharma Vs. Union of India & Others).

The NGT directed the Committee comprising of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Roorkee to asess the environmental damage with regard to the ash dyke breach sites at Vidhyanchal thermal power plant (TPP) and Essar TPP in Singrauli area in the year 2019.

In the ash dyke breach incidence at Essar Power on August 7, 2019 - nearly about 50 hectare (ha) area got affected by the spread of ash slurry. The villagers were utilizing this area for crop cultivation. The Kharif crop was damaged due to this breach incidence. Based on the field survey & aerial videography it was revealed that the slurry has travelled a long path & reached upto Mayer river confluence after flowing through Jaria to Garra river. The slurry travelled about 11 kms in Jaria to Garra river to Mayer river confluence point.

In National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Vindhyachal, Singraulli the ash dyke breach incident happened on October 6, 2019. The ash slurry spread in the plant premises and didn’t affect villages like Gehalgarh due to higher elevation. The village Juari was also not affected as it was on the left bank of Surya drain. No agricultural land got affected on the spread of the ash slurry.

Environmental Damage

The environmental damage assessment due to the ash breach incidence at M/s Essar Power MP Ltd & M/s NTPC Vindhnagar, Singraulli was assessed for green house gas emission and water pollution. The committee assessed the environmental damage based on the available monitoring reports, field reports and literature.

  • Damage assessment for M/s Essar Power MP Ltd was estimated at Rs. 7.3511 crore and for
  • M/s NTPC Vindhnagar at Rs. 104.1684 crore.

The Committee in its report recommended that industrial units must comply for 100% fly ash utilization to avoid such incidence in future. To install monitoring stations on the affected sites, to continuously monitor the movement of plume underground or the leaching of toxic heavy metals from the sediment. Industrial units need to take care for the health of workers employed for spill clean-up working.