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Naxal threat to iron ore supply from NMDC

R Krishna Das  |  Kolkata/ Raipur 

The National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) has come under the scanner of red army that has hinted to disrupt the transportation of steel making raw material from its facility in Chhattisgarh.

The country’s largest iron ore producer has major mining facilities in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Most of the mines are located in the pockets where Naxalites have considerable sway. Of the three fully mechanised mines of the NMDC, two are located in Dantewada including the first large scale open cast iron ore mine in India.

Terror struck on the tracks transporting iron ore from NMDC facilities in the intervening night of Sunday and Monday that had alerted the authorities. The NMDC officials are however refusing to comment on the issue stating that it is a matter related to the Naxalites and hence they will not comment.

A group of heavily armed Naxalites numbering more than 100 stormed into Bhansi railway station and took the railway staff on duty hostage. The rebels blew up a big portion of track and damaged the engine of a train after failing to set it on fire. The rebels threatened the railway staff of dire consequences and warned not to operate trains in the section during the night hours.

The warning of Naxalites was an overt signal to disrupt the transportation of iron ore from NMDC facilities. For, only goods train carrying iron ore was plying in the section in the night hours as the only passenger train chug from the route during day time.

Through the rail route, the mining major was transporting iron ore from Dantewada to Visakhapatnam to ship the raw material to the other countries.

“I will not comment anything on the development whether the Naxalites have intensified their attack against NMDC,” Dantewada Superintendent of Police Narendra Khare told Business Standard.

Meanwhile, transportation of iron ore remain affected on the rail route through out the day as the damaged track could not be repaired. The railway officials said by late in the evening, the work was likely to be completed.

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First Published: Tue, June 12 2012. 00:09 IST