Electricity-starved Tamil Nadu may plunge into deeper power crisis as agitating employees of the state-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) began their indefinite strike demanding prevention of offloading of 5 per cent government stake in the company.
Nearly 30,000 employees, including 13,000 contractual workers of the PSU's three mines, led by the trade unions have stopped work since late Wednesday evening. The officers' and engineers' associations have withdrawn from the strike, the company told the Bombay Stock Exchange, adding that lignite production and power generation are continuing. However, a company source said electricity generation to the tune of 320 MW has been impacted.
The state-run entity produces 2.36 million tonnes of lignite per month while its thermal station generates 2,490 MW of power per day, of which Tamil Nadu gets 1,110 MW. The state is reportedly reeling under a peak power shortage of 4,000 MW, and the power deficit is expected to increase to 5,099 MW this year.
The Madras High Court, on Wednesday, in its interim order on a petition by the NLC management, had restrained labour unions of the company from going on strike. The strike is in protest to the Centre's decision to divest 5 per cent stake in NLC which is being stiffly opposed by major parties in the state besides its chief minister J Jayalalithaa. She had suggested that the shares of NLC be offered to her government's undertakings.
Source- Indian Express