Talcher: A serious power outage stares at the face of the state as all units of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)-owned Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) here in Angul district were shutdown from Monday night.
As a result, power production from TTPS plant came to a complete halt from Tuesday. However, the TTPS authorities have claimed that the units were shutdown as the workers did not turn up for their duty.
A delegation of plant authorities held discussions with the workers and assured them to run the plant if they joined their duty. The shutdown of the plant has sparked anger and resentment among various labour outfits and trade unions.
A trade union outfit, Shramik Ekta Manch, has rejected the charges. Surprisingly, the administration was found to be in dark about the development.
The manch member alleged that the plant authorities had shut down the plant a week before as there was fear of the plant getting closed after March 31 due to non-compliance of an order of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) by NTPC.
They claimed that the state will face power loss to the tune of 460 megawatt daily if the plant is not made operational soon.
Apprehending a law and order situation, the TTPS authorities have deployed police and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel outside the main gate of the plant.
Earlier, the CPCB had issued an order that the TTPS cannot generate power from December 31, 2020 due to non-compliance of a previous order on pollution prevention. The plant, however, remained operational as the state Pollution Control Board reportedly permitted it to run it till March 31, 2021.
Speculations are rife that the plant will soon be closed down from April 1. The plant authorities had shut down all the units in phases from Monday ahead of the scheduled date of closure.
Out of the total six units, the sixth unit of the plant had been shut down earlier. The first unit was shut at 1.13pm, second unit at 12.39am, third unit at 12.14am, fourth unit at 12.30am and finally the fifth unit was shut at 5.05 am, Tuesday.
As a result, no power was generated by the plant Tuesday. The workers alleged that no coal was transported to the plant by the railways since March 1 as the authorities had planned to shut down the plant from March 31.
The plant had even emptied its coal stock in the conveyor belt. The authorities had shut down the plant after fulfilling the power production target for this month.
The trade unions questioned that how the plant could be shut down when there wasn’t any problem on coal supply. When contacted, group general manager DN Tiwari said that the units have been shut down as the workers did not turn up for their duty.
As a result, the bunkers remained empty and the units could not be fed with coal, he added. Talcher sub-collector Rajanikant Swain, however, denied of having any information regarding closure of the plant from the TTPS authorities.