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Villagers block coal supply, NTPC shuts down one unit of Talcher plant

By cutting off coal transportation to NTPC’s Kaniha plant for three days, about 20 Substantially Affected Persons (SAP) put up a roadblock at Nua Balanda village 

Angul: Indian power producer NTPC Ltd closed its one of the two units at its Talcher Super Thermal Power Station (TSTPS) after coal stock in its stockyard plunged as a result of a strike by local villagers. By cutting off coal transportation to NTPC’s Kaniha plant for three days by putting up a roadblock at Nua Balanda village in Odisha’s Sambalpur district. The villagers’ land had been acquired for the setting up of the thermal power plant.

The authorities at NTPC claimed that the villagers had accepted compensation for letting go of their landholding but were now demanding jobs in NTPC. “Due to the demonstration staged by the local villagers in the Lingaraj coal mine and Railway MGR line at Kaniha, coal supply to the NTPC Kaniha plant stopped. Of the total 3,000 MW units, one unit of 500 MW has been shut down due to the stoppage in coal supply,” the NTPC authorities said in a press statement. “If the coal crisis continues, power supply to Odisha and most of the southern states will be completely disrupted. The other states include Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka,” the authorities added.

More units to get shut down

NTPC corporate communication manager, Kaniha, Amit Kumar Behera, said: “Power generation has dipped in the other five units due to non-availability. This would affect the power situation in Odisha and other beneficiary states as well. If the local villagers continue their strike, more units will shut down and go off the grid.”

MGR line blocked over unreasonable demands

“The same group has been frequently staging protests. In January, they had blocked the Lingaraj MGR line for 10 days, causing more than Rs 5 crore loss,” Behera said. To operate its six units of 500 MW capacity each, the plant has the need for 55,000 MT coal each day. The coal stock is less than 1 lakh tonne presently.