ANGUL: The public hearing for environmental clearance of the expansion project of NTPC-owned Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS), which was held on Wednesday, evoked mixed response from the locals.
This was the second public hearing for the project. The first one was conducted in 2011 but it became redundant after the two-year validity period expired necessitating a fresh hearing.
The meeting was attended by around 1,500 residents of seven affected panchayats. As many as 30 locals voiced their concerns about the pollution threat of the power project. Some people also welcomed the project on the condition that NTPC should take care of employment of locals and health services besides peripheral developmental activities. The meeting, which lasted for four hours, was by and large peaceful.
NTPC officials assured the locals that they would deploy state-of-the-art technology and equipment to check pollution. ADM Srinibash Behera chaired the meeting, which was also attended by State Pollution Control Board officials.
TTPS, one of the oldest power plants in the country, was set up with six 460 MW units in the 1960s. As per Central Electricity Authority norms, this power plant will complete 50 years in 2022 and will be closed. NTPC is now planning for an expansion project with two 660 MW units in TTPS so that after the plant’s closure, it will continue to be operational and provide power to the State.
Though NTPC had planned this expansion 10 years back, it could not implement the project due to want of coal linkage. But since NTPC has got linkage from Coal India Limited, it has now decided to go for the expansion plan, official sources said.NTPC has a tough task in hand to make the two units operational before 2022 as construction of the project with necessary clearances would take around five years, the sources added.