With the NLC workers gearing up for an indefinite strike from July 3 seeking withdrawal of the proposal to divest five per cent of the company's stakes, a power crisis looms large over Tamil Nadu as it receives 1,175 MW from this PSU firm.
The state has been largely free from power cuts since the first week of May after generation from the windmills picked up. However, if the workers went on a strike at the NLC, it might bring back the long hours of power cut again. NLC generated a total of 2,490 MW of power from its station-I and II out of which TN alone received 1,175 MW. It also supplied electricity to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
"As of now, the wind mills are generating around 3,000 MW a day. We are able to manage without enforcing load shedding most of the time with the generation from other sources including state and Central thermal power stations," a Tangedco official said, adding that if the strike in NLC affects generation, the state did not have resources to overcome the generation loss and "hence there is no other option but to enforce power cuts again."
The PSU is facing stiff protests over the disinvestment decision even as 17 trade unions representing its 17,000 employees have already announced they would go on indefinite strike from the midnight of July 3 till disinvestment move is given up.
In the wake of NLC workers' protest, chief minister Jayalalithaa had asked the Centre to sell the five per cent stakes to the state's public sector units.
Traders to hold protest fast today
Even as the distraught NLC workers are determined to tread the path of agitation protesting against the Centre's decision to sell five per cent of its stake in the Navarathna PSU, the TN Traders' Federation which has expressed its support to the employees has decided to hold a fast agitation in the city on Friday.
The NLC employees who turned up for work on Thursday wore black badges on their shirts as a mark of protest which will intensify from July 3. Already, the chief minister J. Jayalalithaa had asked the Centre to sell the stakes worth Rs 460 crore to her government.
According to T. Vellaiyan, president of the federation, the move to disinvest in the NLC, which has been serving as the "backbone of the economy" would go against the interests of the employees. He urged the Centre to drop the move and safeguard the employees' welfare.
The fast agitation will be held near Valluvarkottam from 9 am to 5 pm. The federation members from Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvalluvar and others parts will participate.
Source - Deccan Chronicle