Punjab is all set to use fly ash in forestry nursery and plantation as it helps in maintaining micro-nutrient content of soil to maintain crop productivity.
Stating this, Punjab forest minister Chunni Lal Bhagat said fly ash is considered as useful ameliorant, which improve physical, biological and chemical properties of soils and enhance macro- and micro-nutrients.
He said the state government has assigned a Rs. 33-lakh project, "Use of fly ash in forestry nursery and plantation in Punjab", to Thapar University in Patiala. The project would be completed within three years.
Fly ash is a byproduct, which comes from burning coal for generating power. Punjab has five thermal power plants which generate huge quantity of fly ash that requires large tracts of land for disposal.
"So, it can be utilised as source for nutrients in forestry nurseries and plantations," Bhagat said.
The minister said from several field trials conducted during the past two decades in different parts of the country, it is evident that fly ash application in nursery soil and in field plantation leads to improvement in nutrient status of soil along with water holding capacity and plant growth.