The National Green Tribunal has directed all the states and the Union territories to submit their action plan to the environment ministry for utilisation of fly ash generated by thermal power plants. A bench comprising acting Chairperson Justice U D Salvi and Expert Member Nagin Nanda directed the states to submit a comprehensive plan to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in four weeks and asked the ministry to submit the documents to it before the next date of hearing. The green panel said that every state and Union territory was under obligation to implement the notifications issued by the ministry from time to time and dispose of the ash produced by power plants in an environment-friendly manner. "We direct the respondents (states and UTs) to submit their action plan for utilisation of ash produced and generated by the power plants in terms of the notifications within four weeks from now to the MoEF which shall place the same before us with their comments on or before the next date of hearing," the bench said. The matter will be heard on February 16. The NGT was hearing separate pleas filed by Shantanu Sharma, Anupam Raghav, Sandplast (India) Ltd and others seeking utilisation of the fly ash as per 1999, 2003 and 2009 notifications issued by the environment ministry. As per the notifications, fly ash can be used in "construction activity such as in road laying, embankments or used as land fill to reclaim low lying areas including backfilling in abandoned mines or pitheads or for any such other use as permitted strictly in accordance with the provisions of notifications".
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