Second ash dyke collapse in Singrauli in two months, this time at NTPC. Large tracts of farmland ruined.
After NTPC's ash-dyke collapsed in Singrauli district late on Sunday evening, officials of pollution control board initiated the process to assess environmental loss due to the incident on Monday. “As per our primary findings, there has been loss to the environment and it is greater than the loss incurred due to the damage of ash dyke at Essar power plant that took place in August this year. This fly ash pond was old and bigger. We are preparing the report,” regional officer of pollution control board RS Parihar told TOI. Parihar visited the Vindhyanagar NTPC plant to assess the situation.
Parihar said, “Around 35 lakh metric tonnes of fly-ash was stored here which has now been deposited in the Rihand dam through a nullah. Now, the damage to the environment in various context like groundwater damage, etc will be assessed but the detailed assessment will take time. We are sending our primary report to the officials concerned.”
Meanwhile, the NTPC management claimed, in an official statement, that no loss to property or life has been reported so far and an internal probe committee has been constituted to probe the causes of the breach. NTPC said, “A probe committee is being constituted to look into the reasons of this incident. However, preliminary investigations reveal the damage was caused due to development of high hydro-static pressure on the bund which consequently damaged it. The build-up of hydro static pressure was caused due to heavy rains in nearby region in the last 10-15 days. While the ash slurry breach has been contained within the NTPC premises, no damage has been reported in the nearby village lands. Further, no loss of life and damage to property of villagers has been reported in the incident. As per preliminary investigation, some loss/damage of equipment and property of NTPC and associate agencies has been reported. Contrary to news reports, no village has been affected”.
Officials of revenue department also say that so far no damage to property or life has been reported, but teams are keeping an eye on the situation. It may be noted that fly-ash dyke of NTPC’s Vindhyachal project in Shahpur collapsed at around 5pm on Sunday. It is the first dyke that was owned by the NTPC in Vindhyachal project and it was the oldest, said sources. Earlier in August, the fly-ash pond of Essar Power MP Ltd (EMPL) had collapsed in the same Singrauli district.