Maoist damage rail tracks, NMDC shipments at halt

Monday, December 27, 2010

RAIPUR - Iron ore shipments by NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter in the public sector, were halted Monday from its key mines in Chhattisgarh after Maoists damaged rail tracks, police officials said.

“The iron ore transportation has been stopped since Monday early hours as the tracks have been damaged by Maoists, some 25 km away from Bailadila hills in Dantewada district, where NMDC has five mines,” a senior company official told IANS on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to media.

A local police official Gaur Gopal informed that an engine with six goods wagons carrying iron ore derailed at Kaimloor in the insurgency-riddled Dantewada district and the railway authorities were working hard to resume services.

The NMDC has normal dispatches of 56,000 tonnes a day but its shipments have been hit hard in the recent months in the wake of the Maoists often calling shutdowns in the area and the railways withdrawing rakes fearing attacks by the guerrillas. The company cut short its daily dispatches by nearly 30 percent between Dec 2-21 due to one of the longest shutdowns called by the Maoists in recent years.

Maoists, who claim to fight for the poor, dominate vast jungle areas in eastern and central India. They often bomb railway tracks, damage government property and kill policemen and politicians.

They had killed 76 people of the government forces in April this year in Dantewada district of the state in their worst ever attack in the four-decade-old insurgency.

Filed under: Terrorism

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