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Thermal plant staff up the ante 

Bathinda: Employees of Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP) began an indefinite protest outside the District Administrative Complex today against the state government’s decision to shut down their plant and two units of the Ropar thermal plant.Carrying an effigy of the state government on their shoulders, the employees began a protest march from the main gate of the thermal plant and walked all the way to the complex. Raising slogans against the state government, the protesters burnt the effigy.“We challenge the government to sign an agreement with us. We promise to produce power at Rs 4.50 per unit and sell it to government at Rs 5 per unit. We just demand that the government should give us a year’s time, regular supply of coal and must buy all power produced at the plant. We will prove that the GNDTP is not running into losses,” said Rajinder Singh Dhillon, leader of the Thermal Contract Workers Coordination Committee.They also called upon the state government to make public the documents proving that the thermal plant was incurring a high running cost and also about how purchasing power from private sector plants was cheaper than the public sector plants.The cold wave conditions prevailing in the city notwithstanding, the contractual employees brought along their family members as well. They argued that the state government and its officials must at least see the faces of children whose “future was being pushed into darkness” due to the decision.They also brushed aside the claims of the state government that it would adjust all employees in other thermal plants and termed it “a yet another lofty but false promise”.

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