Winter Magic at Dadri

By: M Tewari
The ash lagoons of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Dadri have become an avian habitat frequented in winter by hordes of migratory birds of a wide variety from far off lands.

NTPC Environment Policy: The organisation has evolved a well defined  environment  management  policy  and  sound  practices  for minimising  environmental  impact  arising  out  of  power  plants. As  early  as  November  1995,  NTPC  brought  out  a comprehensive  document called the  ‘NTPC  Environment  Policy  and  Environment Management System’. Amongst the guiding principles adopted in the document are the company’s proactive approach to environment, optimum utilisation of equipment, adoption of latest technologies and continual environment improvement. The policy also   envisages   efficient   utilisation   of   resources,   thereby minimising waste, maximising ash utilisation and providing a green belt all around  power plants to maintain the ecological balance.

Ash dykes and ash disposal systems: Ash  ponds  have  been  provided  at  all  coal based  stations except Dadri where a dry ash disposal system has been set up. Ash ponds have been   divided into lagoons and provided with garlanding arrangements for change over of the ash slurry feed points for even filling of the pond and for effective settlement of the ash particles. Ash in slurry form is discharged into the lagoons where ash particles settles from  the  slurry  and  clear  effluent water is discharged from the ash pond. The discharged effluents conform to standards  specified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and is monitored regularly.

At its Dadri Power Station, NTPC has set up a unique system for dry ash collection and a disposal facility with ash mound formation. This has been envisaged for the first  time  in  Asia  which has resulted in progressive development of the green belt, with far less requirement of land and as compared to the wet ash disposal system.

The winged wonders at Dadri: The ash lagoons of NTPC at Dadri have become an avian habitat frequented in winter by hordes of migratory birds of a wide variety from far off lands including the Brahminyh Scheduck, commonly known as the Surkhab, from Nepal. Stork, purple heron, cattle egret, pied kingfisher, crimson-breasted barbet, river tern – the list of visitors is quite exhaustive.

The avian retreat is well maintained, full of whistling, twittering and a sense of all-round gaiety and expectancy. The large shade trees and shrubs near the ash lagoons are filled with a crescendo of flapping wings and clapping of large pointed bills. By April as the summer heat begins, the birds of Dadri bid adieu to their temporary abode – to come back, again the next year.

With the massive expansion of power generation, there is also growing awareness among all concerned, including NTPC to keep pollution under control and preserve the health and quality of the natural environment in the  vicinity  of  the  power stations.

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