Maoists’ shutdown hits NMDC iron ore transportation

Iron ore transportation of public sector mining giant NMDC Ltd in Chhattisgarh has been hit hard since Monday by a week-long shutdown called by the Maoists, a company official said on Friday.

“Iron ore shipment by NMDC Ltd has been hit up to 30% of the daily dispatches of some 48,000 tonnes because rail rakes were not available during the night since July 4,” the official, based at Bailadila hills in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, told IANS.

The railways has refused to provide rakes to NMDC at night as a preventive move, fearing attacks by Maoists.

“The supply cut has hit several key domestic customers of the NMDC. The company will compensate them by raising supplies after July 11 when the transportation is expected to resume to its full capacity,” added the official, requesting anonymity.

NMDC, India’s largest public sector iron ore producer and exporter, has several mines at two complexes – Bacheli and Kirandul – in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada that is tagged as India’s worst Maoist insurgency-hit district.

The mines, located some 420 km south of state capital Raipur, account for about 75-80% of the 25.16 million tonnes of iron ore it produced in fiscal 2010-11.

The Maoists have called the protest to press their demand for withdrawal of security forces from their strongholds in Bastar and the scrapping of an army training camp at Abujhmad forest in Bastar.


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