Posts filed under ‘Industry, Economy and Environment’
BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has asked power plant industries in the Sambalpur-Jharsuguda region to introduce High Concentration Slurry Disposal ( HCSD) system in an attempt to check the spreading of fly ash to other areas.
The fly ash, according to the new system, will have less water, to prevent spilling and flying of the ash. The decision of the board came after the violation of fly ash disposal by Bhushan Energy Limited (BEL) came to light.
“The ash released from the power plants to the ash ponds used to contain 90 per cent water, which was taking more space of the pond. According to the new system, industries have been asked to use 40 per cent water. So, there will be less dilution of ash and more solidification,” said regional officer of the board Sitikantha Sahu. He said the concentrated ash would get dried up easily, preventing a spill over.
The power plants release ash through elector static precipitator to the designated pond in the form of slurry. “Power plants require a huge amount of water. The new system will not only conserve water, but will save nearby agricultural lands from getting damaged due to spilling of fly ash,” said senior scientist of the board D K Behera. There are six mega power plants in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda belt. A recent OSPCB survey revealed that only 54% of the total ash generated from industries in the state is being utilized. “Lack of proper use of fly ash is not only damaging lakhs of acres of farm lands in the state, it is posing danger to water and aquatic life,” said Behera.
BHAWANIPATNA: The Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) is hoping to tide over its raw material crisis at its refinery and smelter units in the state following the state government’s assurance to consider the possibility of bauxite supply from two mines allotted to Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
The move comes over three months after gram sabhas in Rayagada and Kalahandi rejected Vedanta’s bid to mine Niyamgiri bauxite reserves for its refinery.
On Tuesday, Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal following a meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the CM assured bauxite for the company’s refinery project at Langigarh in Kalahandi district from L&T’s reserves. In the early 1990s, L&T got prospecting licence for Sijimali and Kutrumali mines, with a combined deposit of about 300 million tonne, in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts respectively. But the state government had then denied mining lease (ML) to it on the ground that the company no end-use plant.
L&T’s executive chairman A M Naik, who was present at the meeting with CM, said his company had signed an MoU with Vedanta for the Rs 12,000 crore joint venture project.
Official sources said the state government has to recommend to the Centre to give ML in favour of L&T so that bauxite could be sourced from the two mines for Vedanta’s refinery. VAL has a smelter plant in Jharsuguda.
Vedanta sources said the company has assured the state government of value addition in the form of alumina and aluminium if bauxite is sourced from Sijimali and Kutrumali through L&T.
Following report is from The Samaj:
Bangalore: With the illegal mining issue in the spotlight, the Centre on Saturday said it is planning to set up an authority to check the menace.
A Group of Ministers discussed at a meeting in Delhi yesterday outlines of the proposed Mineral Regulation Authority and the powers to be vested with it to deal with illegal mining, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said here.
“We have discussed it. There are lot of issues to be looked into,” he told reporters, refusing to commit himself to a timeframe to introduce a bill in Parliament for establishing the authority.
When set up the authority would have powers to regulate mining, granting of mining leases and filing of cases against violators, as a deterrent against illegal mining of minerals.
Moily slammed the Karnataka government for not checking illegal mining and illegal exports of minerals, saying “it is unfortunate though the Centre has given all the powers to states, it has not been exercised”.
“They have failed to prevent illegal mining and regulate mining activity,” he said.
Meanwhile, stepping up its attack, Congress demanded resignation of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for his government’s “failure” to check illegal mining and illegal export of iron ore in the state.
“They have no right to govern even for a minute,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here, claiming that in a span of three months from January about 3.5 lakh tonne of iron ore was illegally exported from the state ports “and that too under the nose of the chief minister”.
Ridiculing the measures announced by the Karnataka government in ordering closure of 10 ports and ban on issue of transport permits to check illegal exports, he said “they are closing the door after allowing horse to escape”.
Reiterating his party’s demand for a CBI probe into illegal mining, he said “Why don’t they file a simple FIR and transfer it to CBI? It is a nonsensical drama they are enacting.”
Yeddyurappa has rejected the demand for a CBI probe by the state Congress which is now on a 320 km padayatra, to mine-rich Bellary district to protest illegal mining.
To a question, Singhvi said, “If Congress leaders are involved in illegal mining, let them be punished. We are not holding brief for anyone.”
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The environment ministry Tuesday put on hold construction of the Rs.150 billion Vedanta University in Orissa by the Anil Agarwal Foundation following complaints of irregularities.
The ministry said it had received information alleging irregularities and “illegal, unethical and unlawful deeds” by the foundation.
It said serious objections raised during the Orissa Coastal Zone Management Authority meeting were not appropriately considered while granting coastal regulation zone (CRZ) and environmental clearances.
“The above issues are relevant and important and predict a detailed examination. I have been directed to inform you that the environmental and CRZ clearances issued on April 16, 2010 shall be kept in abeyance till a final decision in the matter is taken by the ministry,” said Bharat Bhushan, director in the ministry, in a letter to the foundation.
The ministry asked the company not to proceed with any construction or development works till a detailed examination of all the issues raised are examined by its Expert Appraisal Committee.
The Anil Agarwal foundation is promoted by NRI billionaire and chairman of Vedanta Resources, Anil Agarwal.
It has proposed to set up the multi-disciplinary Vedanta University over 6,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri marine drive, some 60 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.
This not-for-profit university has been envisaged as one-of-its-kind institution for quality higher education and cutting-edge research in 95 disciplines for 100,000 students.
New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) With India having over 4,700 dams – the third largest number in the world – of which about 100 are more than a century old, a parliamentary panel has suggested the expeditious legislation concerning dam safety.
The Standing Committee on Water Resources, in its report submitted to parliament, said the government should introduce the Dam Safety Bill, 2010 in the budget session.
It said the legislation will help states adopt uniform dam safety norms and provide for proper surveillance, inspection and maintenance of dams of certain parameters.
The committee, headed by Beni Prasad Verma, said the ministry of water resources (MoWR) had informed it that the bill was expected to be introduced in the budget session. The Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal assemblies have passed resolutions empowering parliament to pass the dam safety bill.
According to the National Register of Large Dams, the country has 4,711 completed dams while around 390 are under construction.
Pointing out that there were 477 projects that had spilled over to the 11th Five Year Plan, the committee said some of these have been under execution for the past 50 years or more.
‘The committee desires that the MoWR should take concrete steps so that the spilled over projects, particularly of distant Five Year Plans, are completed during the Eleventh Plan period,’ the report said.
Expressing concern over the ‘tardy pace of execution’ of structures for artificial recharge of water, the committee said the MoWR should pursue the matter with greater vigour with states.
‘Against a target of 794 artificial recharge structures during the 11th Plan, only 121 structures have been completed whereas half the term of the plan is over,’ the committee noted.
It expressed unhappiness over non-achievement of targets for irrigation potential under the ambitious Bharat Nirman programme of the government.
Against the aim of creating irrigation potential of 10 million hectares (Mha) in four years (2005-06 to 2008-09), 7.31 Mha was created till March 2009, the committee said.
The need for legislation has been repeatedly emphasised by the National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), set up in 1987 with the membership of all states and organisations having a significant number of large dams.
While maintenance of the dams is the responsibility of the state governments and dam owners, a Dam Safety Organisation (DSO) was established at the Central Water Commission in May 1979 to develop guidelines for inspection of dams, check lists and other dam safety literature which has also been provided to the states.
The committee also said all information relating to water flow, contamination of surface and groundwater should be collated and ‘put under a suitable template for easy access of all’.
The report of the committee was presented to the Lok Sabha April 20 and tabled in the Rajya Sabha the same day.