Bhubaneswar: The strike going on in Talchar coalfields for the past 11 days has started showing its result, and they are severe ones. As many as 4 units of the 3000 MW NTPC-Kaniha power plant have been shut down. This is an unprecedented development happened due to the crisis of coal supply. Kaniha power plant is India's second-largest power station.
This may cause a severe crisis of power supply in many states as each of the 4 units was of 500mw capacity. Reportedly no attempts from the Odisha state government has been made to pacify the agitating workers and villagers despite the fact that Odisha takes 500mw of supply every day from the power plant. If the power plant is shut down totally due to the coal crisis then several states including Odisha will plunge into a power crisis. Odisha government though has invoked the essential services maintenance act in the region prohibiting strike and disruptions.
MCL CMD camped for 2 days
B.N. Shukla, CMD of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd had camped at Talchar for a couple of days but the agitating people could not be appeased as no one from the top authorities of the government turned up. Reportedly, the strike and shut down of the 4 units of the plant has already caused loss to the tune of over Rs 139 crore to the exchequer besides affected over 30,000 families in the area dependent on coal-related activity. The loss to the MCL is over Rs 213 crore and the power generation loss to the tune of 3339.04 Million Units. A strata collapse in Bharatpur coal mines in which four workers died on 24 July triggered a strike. The Angul unit of the BJP ensured that besides Bharatpur mines, the other eight mines are also closed.
Fight of political ego?
For eight days the BJP held the production of coal suspended demanding compensation, job, safety audit etc. After authorities, MCL and BJP arrived at a settlement, locals allegedly backed by the ruling BJD started agitating again and continued the blockade of the nine coal mines. No development on the resumption of coal mines was received till the time of writing this news piece.
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