Naxals set conveyor belt on fire at NMDC unit in Chhattisgarh

Heavily-armed Naxalites on Wednesday morning raided the premises of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) in Chhattisgarh’s restive Dantewada district and set the conveyor belt on fire. The incident will, however, have least impact on the NMDC business as Naxalites are observing a two-day strike, starting today. During the strike, railways suspend the service after dusk, affecting the transportation of iron ore.

A senior police official in Dantewada, MZ Baig said a group of heavily-armed Naxalites raided the Bacheli complex of NMDC at around 12.30 am. After the blast, the rebels set the conveyor belt on fire. The incident took place in the forested hills between iron ore deposits number 11 and 5. A portion of the belt, which was one of the two in operation in the complex, was severely damaged.

The country’s largest iron-ore exporter and producer has been operating two fully-mechanized mines in the Kirandul and Bacheli complexes. Both the complexes have a production capacity of about 31 million tonne per annum — a major chunk of the company’s total iron-ore output.

While the Naxal raid has unleashed a realm of terror, the development will not impact the company’s business. A company official in Bacheli said it will take two-three days to repair the belt. The NMDC has been evacuating iron-ore through rail route to Vizag.

“Since the train service has been disrupted, the NMDC had scaled down the loading and hence it would not require much stock at the yard,” the official said. The conveyor belt damaged was used for carrying iron-ore from the mine to the yard. On normal days, about two dozen goods trains ply the route, which will be confined to 10 to 12 during the Naxal strike.

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