Power production hit at Angul NTPC over coal shortage

Angul: Power generation at Kaniha-based National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has been severely hit owing to shortage of coal. Four out of six units of NTPC have been shut due to lack of adequate supply of coal to the power generation unit which has led to reduction of power generation from 3000 MW to 1000 MW.

The NTPC used to procure 55,000 metric tonne (MT) coal each day from Lingaraj and Kaniha mines of Talcher-based Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) plant but over the last 10 days, since the mines are shut, electricity production has been thrown out of gear in the power plant. At present, 15,000 metric tonne of coal is being procured from other mines to keep the NTPC running.

It may be noted that the workers at the MCL are continuing with their cease-work agitation, protesting the mishap at Bharatpur open pit coal mining project in which at four persons were killed and over 10 others sustained injuries on July 23. Demanding a compensation of Rs 3 crore for the family members of the deceased labourers, the workers are staging demonstration in front of several mines of MCL since July 31.

Due to reduction in the power generation at NTPC, apart from Odisha, supply of electricity to as many as 16 other states including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar have also been affected.

“We have continuously requested to the State to restart the remaining eight mines so that we can continue supply of coal to NTPC Kaniha and Talcher Thermal Power station seamlessly,” said D Mehera, Public Relations Officer of MCL.

Purna Chandra Sahu, a resident of Talcher said, “At present the NTPC power plant has remaining stock of 4000 MT of coal and once the stock depletes, power generation will be shut down. If that happens it will be a lot difficult because NTPC will then have to synchronise with another national grid to kick start the power generation.”

Meanwhile, to resolve the deadlock gripping the MCL mines in Talcher, the family members of the persons who lost their lives during mishap at Bharatpur coal mine, MLA’s representatives, General Manager of MCL, SDPO and local Sub-collector held a meeting today, but it ended inconclusively.

Paresh Chandra Nayak, Talcher Sub-collector said that the administration and MCL authorities have assured to provide adequate compensation to the family of deceased but they are demanding permanent job in MCL which is not possible.”

On the other hand, due to disruption in coal mining, thousands of truck owners earning their livelihood from transportation of the minerals are also in distress.

“Around 10,000 families are dependant on transportation of coal and minerals here so the shutdown in the MCL plant has badly affected all of us,” said Raj Kishore Sahu, member of Talcher Truck Owners’ Association.