Transporters’ strike hits coal supply in Dhanbad’s power plant


Transporters’ strike hit coal supply at Maithon Power Limited (MPL) in Dhanbad, leading to the crisis of electricity production in the thermal power unit, Ramesh Jha, MPL chief executive officer.

Jha said situation in power plant worsened as supply of coal and transporting of ash from the MPL plant completely interrupted due to strike by workers. The tool down strike entered 6th day today.

“Regular maintenance activities of critical equipments have been stopped due to the workers’ strike leading to the closure of the plant”, said Jha. Coal transporters have stopped supplying coal since Saturday demanding revision in fare.

The district administration on Wednesday held meeting at Maithon for resolving the strike but failed to address the grievances of the protesters. Rural superintendent of police Aman Kumar, who chaired the meeting, said the meeting would be held again tomorrow. “Negotiation is continued. I have called management and land losers leaders in Dhanbad tomorrow for talk and I hope crisis would be resolved”, he said.

Already 170 land losers have been “laying a siege” to the power plant, demanding compensation promised by the power company. The protestors under the banner of MPL Vishthapit Sthaniya Samiti along with the Kamgar Union – the recognised union of the power plant – have been holding the stir in support of 18 points demand. The workers too started tool down strike inside the plant for enhancement of salary payment from June 10. However Nirsa MLA Arup Chatterjee, who represented the land losers and workers, held the management of the MPL responsible for failure of talk. “Agitating people have 18 points demand. At the meeting, we proposed that for time being implement only three points – job to land losers, increase salary of workers and ensure gratuity of employees but MPL officers were not agreed on any of these demands”, he said.

Nirsa MLA, however, denied charges that agitators stopped entry and exit of officials in the plant and workers were hampering coal feeding in hopper inside plant.

“No one stops officials. Rather, agitating land losers are also helping them so that power generation runs smoothly”, he said.

MPL is joint venture of Tata Power and DVC which generates 1050 MW power per day and caters requirement of four states Bengal, Delhi Punjab and Kerala. MPL official said plant needs 15000 ton coal per day for generation 1050 MW power.