Nearly 20 hours after the strike by NLC workers began, the trade union said it has not received any communication from the High Court regarding its interim stay on the protest, even as TANGEDCO maintained it was receiving normal share of electricity from the power producer.
General secretary of Labour Progressive Front (LPF) of NLC, S Rajavanniyan, said he has not received the court’s notice as on Thursday evening regarding the strike. “LPF of NLC has not received any notice from the court yet. We have heard the news about the court’s order only from the fellow labourers and also through media. We can comment on it only when we receive it,” he said.
Meanwhile, engineers and officers went for work on Thursday with police protection. “Lignite stored in the bunkers is being utilized for the power generation. Engineers are managing with the available lignite to run the thermal power stations. When the quantity of lignite comes down, there would be a gradual decrease in power generation,” a source said.
Traders in the Neyveli Township and the surrounding places downed shutters to show solidarity with the workers. R Paneer Selvam, traders union general secretary of Mandharakuppam, said, “This is not only the problem of NLC labours. This is now the problem of general public. We want NLC to remain in public sector.”
The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation sources said the NLC thermal stations generated more than 50 million units of power on Thursday. It received about 20 million units during the 24 hours till Thursday evening, which is the normal share obtained by the State. “As of now the TANGEDCO is receiving sustained power from NLC plants. We are in close touch with the NLC engineers to maintain the grid and also sustain power supply. They assured that the generation will not steeply fall due to the protest.,” an official said.
The NLC officials said that the power plants generated 7.53 million units in stage I, 9.35 million units from Thermal power stage I expansion and 33 million units from stage II expansion plants.
“We have sufficient lignite stock in the plants. Meanwhile, around thousands of contract employees are working in the mines. Before the coal stock was cleared, we hope, the strike will come to an end,” an official said.
In the meantime, the NLC officials are also planning to bring coal from the mines of other States.