The main constituent of coal ash is silica (silicon dioxide). It also has other mineral oxides and compounds of aluminium, magnesium and also small quantities of minerals containing mercury, phosphorous, etc. Some coal ash may also contain very small quantities of radio active minerals.
Improper operation and management of the power plants with regard to air, water and land pollution control methodologies adversely affect the environment around the thermal power plants. This happens due to various reasons such as production vs. pollution control priorities of the plant management, inadequate pollution control facilities and incompetence of the plant personnel in understanding pollution causes and its abatement. Of these, the latter plays a very important role.
It is time that we set aside self interests and move towards greater national interests. When that happens, our country would no longer have accursed counties. It will have only blessed counties! And India would indeed become 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) as envisaged by its visionary new PM, Shri Narendra Modi.
India has no dearth of technical expertise to manage problems of this nature. What it really lacks is the will, honesty and administrative competence of its key functionaries holding key governmental positions!
Let us earnestly hope for positive changes in the near future!