Challenges of Embankment Design to Comply with Statutory Requirements for Environment Protection
A large number of big and small embankments are constructed in India with soil for road infrastructure. The Government of India, with an objective to curtail this unsustainable practice issued its First Notification [S.O.763(E) dated 14 September 1999] under Environment Protection Rules 1986 and issued amendment [S.O.979 (E) dated 27 August 2003] forbidding the design or construction of road and flyover embankment located within 100 km of a coal-based thermal power plant with soil and mandating that such embankments shall be designed and constructed with fly ash. The amendment [S.O.254 (E) dated 25 January 2016] has increased the above-said lead distance of 100–300 km. With increased knowledge of benevolent fly ash engineering properties, a large number of road and flyover embankments have been constructed in India with fly ash, including 8–10-m-high road embankment in flood zone area, road and flyover embankments in marshy and wetlands and reinforced fly ash walls (in place of reinforced soil/ RE walls). All fly ash embankments have performed very well for more than two decades. No signs of distress or settlement have been reported. In spite of the above, a number of road embankments are still being designed and constructed with topsoil within the forbidden lead distance of 300 km from coal-based thermal power plants. Geotechnical design engineers have the challenging moral and professional duty to abide by the legal and statutory framework even though their clientele may be ignorant.
KeywordsFly ash Embankments Environment protection Fly ash notifications
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