NTPC’s Tandwa plant to start power generation after 23-year wait

Ranchi (IANS) The National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) North Karanpura power plant will start power generation after a long wait of 23 years.

The trial of 660 MW power generation and transmission at full load from the first unit of this plant was successful on Tuesday. The generated electricity was sent to the National Grid.

The plant, located at Tandwa in Jharkhand consists of three units and has a total capacity of 1980 MW.

Regular production in the first unit is said to start in February, 2023 after an expenditure of about Rs 15,000 crore.

Modern technology is being used for generating power in the project.

Marking a first, water consumption will be reduced to just 20-25 per cent due to the technology based on Air Cool Condensed System.

Along with Jharkhand, many states including Bihar and Bengal will benefit from the project.

NTPC’s Public Relations Information Officer Saibal Ghosh, said that the technology being used in the plant reduced water requirement by about 80 per cent as compared to conventional power generation stations.

The project’s foundation stone was laid by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on March 6, 1999 with the hope to bring development to the area infamous for Maoism and backwardness.

The then target for completion of the project and production of electricity was set for 2002-2003.

But disputes regarding compensation, rehabilitation and jobs etc. for the villagers whose land was acquired to build the plant persisted from its beginning.

Land from six villages was taken for the project when the old land acquisition law was in force.

Subsequently, a new law regarding land acquisition was enacted which stated that the acquired land would be returned to the farmer if the project did not start in five years.

When work under the project started after seven years due to delay in land acquisition among many other reasons, questions on compensation policy, rehabilitation arrangements, jobs to the affected etc. came to the fore.

The work kept getting affected by dharnas, demonstrations and agitations by the people.

The last 23 years have recorded more than a hundred clashes between the NTPC, administration, police and the displaced farmers, with innumerable incidents of firing, baton charge and violence.

In March, a violent clash took place between the displaced people and the police, where the protestors torched 56 vehicles of Simplex, a company associated with NTPC.

A total of 27 people from both sides were injured in the clash.

The dispute remained unresolved despite several agreements reached between the NTPC, the administration and the villagers.

Significantly, most of the displaced have been provided compensation.

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