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Home News Power Sector News 1340MW Mejia power plant shuts down due to fly ash burden

1340MW Mejia power plant shuts down due to fly ash burden

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Mejia power plantThe Damodar Valley Corporation(DVC) has decided to shut down 1340MW Mejia thermal power plant  in Bankura after villagers continued to block trucks carrying fly ash out of the facility for over a month.The residents near the plant have been blocking the trucks since November 14 and not letting the plant authorities empty the two ash ponds that are full.The villagers said when the trucks took away the by-product ash, it polluted the air leading to respiratory problems among residents.

The DVC generates 1,340MW in Mejia, about 240km from Calcutta. The plant generates around 7,000 tones of ash daily that is dumped in the two 40ft-deep fly ash ponds spread over 700 acres.

“We have decided to shut all six units of the Mejia power plant one by one by this month. We are helpless as the villagers are still not allowing us to remove the ash from the ponds,” said Amal Sarkar, the chief engineer.Power generation would create more ash, which the DVC cannot dump in the ponds anymore. We got the approval from the Central Electricity Authority to stop work in all the units.

Officials said the shutdown would affect power supply in coal and steel plants in Burdwan.

Power minister Mrinal Banerjee, however, ruled out the possibility of power scarcity elsewhere. “We don’t take power from the DVC regularly and there will be no shortage in supply in the state if the Mejia plant stops. It would hamper supply in the coal belt area,” he said.

Officials told the Central Electricity Authority that both its ponds, filled with fly ash to the maximum, were now damaging the devices installed to control pollution in the plant. A team from the electrical authority visited the plant earlier this month.

The crisis has come at a time when the DVC was adding another 1,000MW — two 500MW units — to the plant under the 11th Five Year Plan. This would make the Mejia plant the biggest power generator (2,340 MW) in eastern India.
 

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