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NTPC blast: Uneasy calm at Unchahar plant as workers nervous about high-risk job

One company of Rapid Response Force has been deployed at the plant to deal with any untoward incident following massive demonstration staged by agitating workers all through the day on Thursday.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2017 23:41 IST
Kenneth John
Kenneth John
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
NTPC blast,Unchahar power plant,RRF
Smoke billowing out of NTPC's Unchahar power plant in Rae Bareli where a blast in a boiler on Wednesday killed 32 people. (PTI Photo )

An uneasy calm prevailed on Saturday at the NTPC’s Unchahar power plant where an explosion in a boiler two days ago killed more than 30 people, triggering angry protests from workers.

To deal with any untoward incident, one company of Rapid Response Force (RRF) has been deployed in addition to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) manning the main gate of the 1550-MW plant in Rae Bareli.

The deployment of force was in view of the massive demonstration staged by agitating workers all through the day on Thursday.

“The NTPC administration is not taking any chance and in anticipation of any further agitation, the security forces will continue to maintain round the clock vigil for the next few days,” said an official of the state-run power giant.

Under heavy security presence, workers were seen working in the four functional units of the coal-fired power station.

The work was stalled at the ill-fated sixth unit of the plant, while the unit one witnessed a massive overhauling purportedly after it developed some snag.

Despite the semblance of normalcy, workers were at unease while entering the power plant premises.

“Every worker from now onwards would prefer not to work near a boiler. I will never be comfortable working near a boiler,” said Bhulai (who goes by only one name), a labourer working on contract in the second unit of the plant.

Joku Lal, a resident of neighbouring Amethi, who has been working in the fourth unit as a contract labourer for nearly two years, said, “If I get another job I will leave this one. It is very risky, which I did not realise earlier.”

The NTPC has appointed a panel headed by executive director SK Roy to probe the cause of the accident.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 17:36 IST