IMPACT OF COAL-BURNT THERMAL POWER PLANT ON AGRICULTURAL LANDSUBHAS ADAK, KALYAN ADHIKARI1, KOUSHIK BRAHMACHARI AND SOUMYA BHATTACHARYYA
Fly ash of thermal power plant affects the agricultural land in the adjacent area (<4 km radius) from Kolaghat Thermal Power Plant (KTPP). The arable areas under different crops, wheat (67.6%), pulses ( -32.4%), mustard ( -29.1%), vegetables ( -14.8%), maize ( -10%), jute ( -10%), sesame ( -8.33%), flowers ( -8.06%) and rice ( -4.87%) have been gradually losing due to fly ash within impact zone (<4km) except spices ( 4.76%) during last four years (2011-2015) whereas the area beyond 4km gained the space for more cultivation (overall 1.7%) except rice ( -0.09%) and jute (-1.41%) due to low price and demand. The circles close to KTPP have also lost cultivable land by 0.95% to 2.86% resulting overall change 65.61% to 63.34% while the rest circles showed the change from 76.29% to 75.10%. The average cropping system dropped down from 184.9% to 169.91% in impact areas (<4km) whereas it reduced from 192.34% to 180.9% in the outer circles (>4km). As the consequence of fly ash, agricultural land (<4km) has been converted to the non-agricultural by - 1.11% to -5.47% contrasting the transformation to non-arable in the area (>4km) from -0.54 % to 2.44%. Site-specific evaluation and management should be adopted to abate the impact of coal burned thermal power plant for agricultural sustainability.
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