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NTPC workers protest

Kokrajhar, July 18: Workers on contract in the NTPC’s Bongaigaon thermal power project went on an indefinite hunger strike this morning in protest against recruitment of fresh candidates.

The workers of the 750MW Bongaigaon thermal power project at Salakati in Kokrajhar expressed their apprehension after call letters were issued to candidates for recruitment to the posts of assistant store trainee and account assistant trainee to be held on July 20.

The protesters said the NTPC had totally ignored the local workers who should have been given a preference for these two posts. They said there are many who have been part of the project from the very beginning and have acquired the skills and experience required for the two posts.

The protesters said many contractual workers had been working in different sectors in the power project since the past 6-7 years and had become skilled in their respective fields. They added that the move of the authority to appoint new employees from outside the region had “hurt the sentiments” of the local people.

Danswrang Basumatary, a protester, said they had approached the group general manager, Utpal Chakraborty, and submitted a letter on June 23, requesting him to give them an opportunity to appear in the written test.

“But despite the fact that the contractual workers had been working in the project since the beginning, they were not asked to take the test,” he said.

Memorandums were submitted to the chief managing director of the NTPC, New Delhi and the ministry of power. They warned of more protests if the authority continued to ignore existing local candidates.

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