NMDC iron ore shipment hit by Maoist shutdown

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

Raipur: Iron ore transportation by NMDC Ltd, India`s largest iron ore producer and exporter in the public sector, has been hit at its key mining facilities in Chhattisgarh due to a shutdown called by Maoists since Dec 2, a senior official said on Monday.

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

But its daily iron ore shipment has been reduced by more than 30 percent.

"We are transporting up to 36,000 tonnes of iron ore on daily basis since Dec 2 as against the normal dispatches of 56,000 tonnes a day. The iron ore shipment has been hit purely because rail rakes are not available during night period because of the Maoist shutdown," a senior NMDC official told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

The source said that the production of the minerals major has not been hit but low dispatches have forced NMDC to cut short iron ore supply to several domestic steel makers.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has enforced a shutdown from Dec 2 in the state`s southern region - rich in iron ore - which is its stronghold since the late 1980s to observe the foundation anniversary of its military wing, People`s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA).

Police say that according to leaflets and posters found in jungles of the state, the shutdown is expected to continue till the end of the third week of December.

Maoist rebels, who dominate large parts of eastern and central India, often bomb railway tracks, damage government property and kill policemen and politicians. They had killed 76 security personnel in April this year in Dantewada district in Chattisgarh, their worst ever attack in the four-decade-old insurgency.

IANS

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