Damodar Valley Corporation crisis may lead to blackout in three states

West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand are staring at a blackout in the wake of demonstrations at the Damodar Valley Corporation’s (DVC) thermal power plant at Raghunathpur in the Purulia district of West Bengal. Demonstrators are seeking jobs in lieu of their lands, which were acquired for the project.

While the Bengal government is trying to end the crisis through dialogue, DVC officials apprehend that if the demonstrations continue for a few more days, Ranchi and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, besides some parts of Bihar and Bengal, could go without power.

Hundreds of people have blocked the entry to the upcoming Raghunathpur power plant’s switch yard, leaving six employees stuck inside.  The crisis has posed a threat to the power situation in Bengal and Jharkhand, since the switch yard is connected to the National Power Grid Corporation’s network via the Andal and Maithon booster stations.

Local administration sources said the demonstrators were people who gave up lands against financial compensation.

Since the lands were small, the compensation did not translate into a considerable sum. Hence, they also demanded jobs.

The DVC authorities reportedly promised them jobs during land acquisition, but employed only 86 people, leaving around 200 in the lurch.

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