Bokaro Thermal Power Plant, a cornerstone of electricity supply to Jharkhand and Bihar for the past six decades, has been temporarily closed due to technical issues. The 500 MW capacity plant, grappling with challenges in its boiler and turbine units, has ceased operations, triggering concerns about power shortages, especially during peak hours.
Plant authorities have promptly alerted the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the Eastern Regional Load Dispatch Centre (ERLDC) about the shutdown. They have urgently requested these agencies to secure alternative power sources to bridge the impending supply gap. The plant is anticipated to resume operations after comprehensive repair work, a process expected to span several weeks.
Established in 1962 by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and later entrusted to the Bokaro Power Supply Company Limited (BPSCL), a collaborative venture between DVC and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the Bokaro Thermal Power Plant boasts four units, each with a capacity of 125 MW. Presently, only two units were operational; the other two were decommissioned in 2017 due to environmental compliance issues.
Regrettably, the plant has been a subject of environmental concern due to its antiquity and polluting emissions. Environmental activists and local communities have voiced criticism against the facility for exceeding permissible emissions and inadequate ash disposal practices. Alleged violations of water and air quality standards set by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) have further marred its reputation.
While the temporary closure might yield positive environmental and public health outcomes, it presents a daunting challenge for the power sector in Jharkhand and Bihar. These states are already grappling with power shortages and frequent outages. As a consequence, authorities are compelled to explore alternative energy sources, potentially focusing on renewables or gas-based plants, to cater to the escalating demand. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving situation.