NTPC Unchahar boiler blast death toll rises to 32

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 03, 2017

3-member panel to investigate cause of mishap, submit report in a month

The death toll in NTPC-Unchahar thermal power plant tragedy has touched 32.

Speaking to mediapersons Chairman and Managing Director Gurdeep Singh said, “There have been 32 casualties and the total number of affected people stands at 80. Twelve of the injured have been brought to Delhi by air and are being treated in the Safdarjung and Apollo hospitals.”

Singh said that NTPC has initiated an investigation into the mishap in coordination with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, the supplier of the boiler where the accident occurred.

“A committee will be going into each and every possible detail of the mishap which is headed by our most experienced operations services person SK Roy along with two other general managers. They will submit their report within one month.”

“We have already asked BHEL to send their experts. Some of them have already reached, a few more are on the way,” he added.

Employees’ federation’s charge

In a statement, the Electricity Employees Federation of India had blamed NTPC’s labour policy for the casualties and demanded an inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

The federation alleged that the operation and maintenance work of the boiler was being undertaken by contractual employees. The federation also alleged that this was in contravention of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.

Responding to the allegations, Singh said, “Tell me why three of NTPC’s Additional General Managers were at the location. Not just three, there was another one who was there and had gone to the control room just minutes before the accident. This makes it clear that senior executives were at the location. How can one say that we left the operations at the hands of contract workers?”

“One was the operations in-charge, one was in-charge of the assembly and one was the boiler in-charge. So this is the maximum what we could think of in terms of having NTPC experts there,” he said.

If there were any wrong operations that have happened then they will come out during the inquiry, he added.

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Published on November 03, 2017
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