ANGUL: Even as the powerhouses surrounding the Talcher coal belt face imminent coal shortage due to the truckers’ strike called by the Truck Owners Association of Talcher’s on November 9, the administration has reportedly not initiated any measure yet to sort out the impasse.
Due to the stoppage of road sales, Jindal India Thermal Power Plant, Jindal Steel and Power, TATA Steel Meramandali, and GMR Power Plant are among the most affected powerhouses, with the probability of shutdown of units looming large.
Approximately 8,000 truckers engaged in coal transportation from Talcher have stopped plying their vehicles demanding a fare hike. Their strike, in effect since midnight on November 9, stems from the lack of fare revisions since 2019, causing financial losses for truckers amid rising input costs.
A meeting chaired by the Talcher sub-collector, attended by local MLA Braja Pradhan, industrial representatives, and truckers association office-bearers last month, failed to yield a solution, leading to the current strike. Powerhouse sources fear that prolonged discontinuation of road sales could force the shutdown of power plants in the region.
The association president Arabinda Bhutia said that power plants have alternative means, such as rail transport, for coal delivery. The strike is set to persist until the demands for a fare hike are met. “I would urge the state government and district administration to intervene and resolve the deadlock before it is too late,” he said. Attempts to speak to the district collector for his comments failed as he didn’t receive the call.