Maoist shutdown hits NMDC iron ore transportation (Lead)

December 6th, 2010 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Dec 6 (IANS) A weeklong shutdown enforced by Maoists has hit iron ore transportation by NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter in the public sector, at its key mining facilities in Chhattisgarh, an official said Monday.

NMDC Ltd has several mines at Bailadila in insurgency-riddled Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh where it produces more than 75 percent of its total annual iron ore output.

“The shutdown has not affected iron ore production at Bailadila but transportation has been surely hit as rail rakes are not available during night fearing Maoist attacks,” a senior NMDC official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

East Coast Railway, which provides rail rakes to NMDC in Chhattisgarh, has withdrawn night services on the K-K line under Waltair division that originates from Kirandul in Bailadila and leads to Kottavalasa near the Andhra Pradesh port city of Visakhapatnam.

“The transportation has been down by about 25 percent on daily basis of nearly 52,000 tonnes daily production at Bailadila by the NMDC,” said an official source, adding “the company would try to make up the transportation loss once the full shipment is restored.”

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called a weeklong strike since Dec 2 to observe the foundation anniversary of its military wing, People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA).

The strike has hit life in parts of Chhattisgarh, mainly in its southern restive 40,000 sq km mineral rich Bastar region, which is made up of Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar Narayanpur and Kanker districts as transporters have taken vehicles off the road and businessmen have downed shutters in the interiors.

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