Posted on: November 20th, 2020
(Text submitted by the Architect | Updated on 20November, 2020)
Dhrangdhra Chemical Works ( DCW) has been operational in northern Gujarat for the last 65 years as a plant manufacturing Soda-Ash. The plant is spread across in 250 acres of land. Main energy source for the plant is coal and Fly-ash is produced as a byproduct at the end. Situated within the mainland, the plant has been disposing the fly-ash around their premises. Fly ash tends to make the soils alkaline and also prevents ground water percolation. In addition, it makes soils mainly devoid of nitrogen and thus soluble nitrates, which are essential for plant growth. The moisture levels of the soil have gradually depleted due to high ground water usage by the DCW plant over the years. These conditions accumulatively have slowly given rise to limitations for natural plant growth and have degraded the soil conditions and have transformed it into a wasteland.
The rejuvenation process was initiated a few years back with the help of landscape intervention. As a regenerative process, large land parcels were divided into phases and zones and were applied with onsite grids. The uppermost layers of the soil had maximum amount of flyash were breached with heavy machines and original soil layer was made to be exposed. Based on the soil slopes deep ditches were dug to catch and release monsoon water into the natural soil strata. The fly ash was analyzed and was found non-radioactive. The long process of rejuvenating the soil started with the first phase involving indigenous grass plantation to create biomass in the initial years while the trees were introduced later in the process. The plant list was established having nitrate releasing root system. The process has been ongoing for the last 10 years and the area slowly improved as one can evidently see in the images.
Read More: Sustainability | landscape | rejuvenation