Mumbai Will Now Build On Fly Ash
If India’s national capital has faced global embarrassment after being picked as the world’s dirtiest megacity in the world by the World Health Organization so has its financial capital. In terms of PM10 levels in the air among mega cities with a population of 14 million and more, Delhi scores on the top, with 292 microgram per cubic metre (mpcm) in 2016. Mumbai, too, is lying on the fourth spot in this list, with PM10 levels hitting 104 mpcm in 2016. At a time like this, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed a move that might help tame air pollution — it is making use of coal dust, a primary cause of air pollution, mandatory for construction works.
In its recently released Development Control and Promotional Rules (DCPR), the civic body has proposed to use coal dust, which is widely known as fly ash, to make concrete and bricks for building construction. Three state departments, industries, energy and labour, last year made use of fly ash mandatory for construction work.
For using the material, developers will have to get a certificate from architects appointed by the BMC. For this purpose, the civic body will set up a dedicated cell of architects.
What is fly ash?
Coal dust is produced while burning pulverised coal in electric power-generating plants. It contains substances harmful to human health and the environment. Flying swiftly in the air, coal dust could severely damage lungs and the respiratory system when inhaled. To make the matters worse, it is also difficult to dispose of the material. When mixed with lime and water, however, fly ash attains a form similar to that of cement. Apart from being used as a binder, coal dust could also be used in construction work in the form of bricks, tiles and hollow blocks. Materials built using fly ash are also cost-effective. However, developers have been apprehensive about its use, owing to the concern raised by experts about the building quality.