In India, the annual production of coal fly ash is approximately of the order of 70 million tons per year. Most of the production is stored in large ash ponds. Current waste disposal regulations call for the retired ash ponds to be covered with a top soil to prevent leaching of contaminants and erosion of fly ash into the surrounding environment. However, absolute containment of ash ponds on the longer term in a tropical climate is far from feasible: the covering on these ponds dries out and cracks. In addition, the topsoil is stripped off from other fertile areas, away from the site.Our present understanding of coal fly ash leaching in a disposal environment has largely obtained from freshly, unreacted ashes and not from ashes, which have been allowed to weather in the open. We showed in a previous paper that alkaline fly ash weathers relatively rapidly into soil-like material when disposed in the open. In this paper, it is argued that fly ash analogous to volcanic ash, has a high potential for large-scale utilisation in forestry and agriculture. A new concept of sustainable ash disposal and utilisation in India is presented.