DIBRUGARH, July 15 - The new 100 MW replacement power unit of Namrup Thermal Power Station (NTPS) is all set for further commissioning delays.
The recent collapse of a concrete slab at the construction site has created this problem. While youth groups like the AJYCP have protested the alleged sub-standard civil construction at the site, the Government seems to be out to underplay the situation.
NTPS is a power generating station of the Assam Power Generation Company Limited (APGCL), and the new plant is being constructed by public sector BHEL. Work on the project commenced in February 2009 and was due for completion in January 2012. The prolonged delay in the construction work has jacked up project cost from the initial Rs 564 crore to well over Rs 800 crore.
Following last week�s collapse of a vital concrete slab, the Chief General Manager of APGCL Rajat Baruah visited Namrup and gave instructions on vigilance and proper construction quality. While this is seen as a face-saving move by the Government, local youth organisations in Namrup have demanded that Power Minister Tapan Gogoi take more interest in the new NTPS plant, and ensure its early commissioning.
Meanwhile, locals have reported that a section of the project site workers are resorting to theft of wires, cables and construction site material. A few outsiders were recently caught red-handed while stealing stacks of copper wire.
Locals in Namrup have demanded that large-scale pilferage of goods be checked. What is of greater concern is that the main turbine may have been damaged as the concrete slab that collapsed fell on the turbine. Even Dibrugarh MP Rameswar Teli has expressed concern that any damage to the turbine is a cause for huge anxiety.
With the Power Finance Corporation reportedly throttling funds for the project, it seems that only dark days are ahead for the proposed new unit at NTPS.