The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which observed a bandh in Angul district on Wednesday in protest against the closure of the Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS), called off its stir in the midday after an instruction from the party high command.
The BJD had given the call for a 12-hour ‘Total Bandh’ in Angul district, but Angul district president Mahendra Bastia called off it at 1.30 pm. During this seven and a half hours of bandh observation, normal life was paralysed; movement of vehicles came to a standstill; and shops, marketplaces and business establishments remained closed across the district.
BJD leaders and workers staged dharna on roads and highways in different places of the district. The dharna on railway tracks stopped train movement thereby affecting coal supply to Nalco and NTPC plant. Production and transportation of coal from all mines of MCL were disrupted.
President Bastia told that after the instruction of the party leaders on April 5, the BJD had called for the Angul Bandh. However, the party leadership instructed him to withdraw the strike at 1.30 pm as the NTPC and the Union Government agreed to operate the closed TTPS plant and also establish a new thermal power plant near the same place.
The lifespan of the 54-year-old coal-based thermal power plant TTPS , a major contributor to air pollution, expired on March 31 as per the guidelines of Central Electrical Regulatory Commission (CERC). The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had issued an ultimatum to the TTPS to take steps to upgrade and meet the emission norms failing which the plant would be closed.