State-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) has lost nearly Rs 200 crore due to naxalite attacks in its mining areas in Chhattisgarh in the last one year. A top steel ministry official told Hindustan Times that the ministry has asked the Chhattisgarh government to provide adequate security and improve law and order in mining areas of the state.
“Bailadila is one of the best reserves of iron ore in the country and accounts for about 80 per cent of NMDC’s total capacity. Every year there has been maoist attacks on its mines, leading to production losses,” the official said. “The state government needs to take responsibility of the security situation.”
Disruption of power supplies in four districts of Chattisgarh by Maoist rebels in April had resulted in NMDC losing around Rs 100 crore over 8 days. This had also affected operations in NMDC’s Bailadila mines and Essar Steel’s iron ore beneficiation plant in Kirandul.
The public sector unit produces 27 million tonnes of iron ore every year, of which 20 million tonne comes from the Dantewada region. The power cut completely stalled work at two fully mechanised mines of the company.
In a similar incident last year, naxals had blown three 132 KVA towers in Narayanpur that had affected electricity supplies to Dantewada for 12 consecutive days. The company had ended up losing Rs 160 crore during that instance.
Meanwhile NMDC has clarified that currently it is not looking at any divestment of stake. “There is no proposal for divestment of stake under consideration right now,” Kumar Raghavan, company secretary, NMDC, said.