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Govt allows NTPC to restart Talcher plant

New Delhi: In a major relief to southern states, the Orissa government on Tuesday allowed NTPC to restart power generation at the partially shut Talcher Super Thermal Power Station and has kept the closure notice for the plant in abeyance.

The state government“s move follows NTPC“s "satisfactory" steps to address the concerns over fly ash disposal.

On June 28, the Orissa State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) served the closure notice for the 2,000 MW stage-II, which supplies power to Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, amid concerns over fly ash management.

"We have kept the closure notice in abeyance till August 31. We are satisfied with the steps taken by NTPC to address issues related to fly ash disposal. The company can now resume electricity generation," Orissa State Pollution Control Board“s Member Secretary Siddhanta Das told PTI.

The pollution control board had raised concerns about fly ash, emanating from the plant, which could pose pollution threat to nearby crop lands and river bodies.

NTPC officials could not be contacted for comments.

The thermal power major had shut down three units of 500 MW each of stage-II in recent weeks, while another 500 MW was closed down for maintenance.

According to Power Ministry sources, NTPC is expected to soon start operations of stage-II today itself. The Orissa government“s move came after hectic negotiations and firm commitment from the power utility to address fly ash disposal issues, they added.

The resumption of power generation at (stage-II) Talcher plant will be a big relief for Southern states, most of which are facing power shortages, sources noted.

Siddhanta Das said that NTPC has provided a time-bound plan to address fly ash disposal issues.

NTPC had submitted a design plan prepared by IIT Chennai to address the concerns and the same was checked by the OSPCB with the help of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela, he added.

The Talcher plant, located in Angul district, has a total capacity of 3,000 MW. It supplies to both eastern and southern states.

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