In view of the Maoist threat, state-run aluminium major NALCO has drastically reduced its store of explosives for its bauxite mines in Orissa's Koraput district, reeling under naxal violence.
The stock of explosive materials has been reduced to one-tenth following a decision to keep only four to five days' supply at the magazine house of the bauxite mines at Damnjodi in Koraput, a NALCO statement said in Bhubaneswar.
As a result the booster explosives has been reduced to only 2.25 tonnes from around 21.75 tonnes a month before the Naxal attacks. Similarly, the stock of column explosives has been brought down from 10.12 tonnes to 1.15 tonnes and that of ammonium nitrate from 3.95 tonnes to only 0.70 tonnes.
The step was taken as part of a strategy to minimise threat from Maoists who had attacked NALCO's Panchpatmali mines on April 12 apparently to loot explosives, sources said.
The PSU has also geared up its traffic department to handle the explosives movement in an efficient manner, they said.
To augment security at the mines and refinery complex at Damanjodi, the number of CISF personnel has been increased from 417 to 682 and bullet proof jackets with helmets provided to security personnel, NALCO sources said.
Fortification of the vulnerable areas has been completed. Provision of power fencing, strengthening of watch towers and providing more high towers for the safety of the magazine area was being considered, they said.
NALCO is also exploring 'blast free' mining methods.