Friday, May 08, 2009

Govt to review security arrangements in Nalco

8 May 2009, 2039 hrs IST, Rakhi Mazumdar , ET Bureau

KOLKATA: The Union ministry of mines has convened a top level meeting in Delhi on Friday to review security arrangements in National Aluminium Co
Ltd (Nalco) following last month’s Maoist attack on its prized bauxite mines at Damanjodi. The audacious attack that had led to loss of 10 lives has disrupted Nalco’s operations for nearly a month.

"We had a meeting between top officials of the mines ministry along with secretary, mines and our officials. We discussed various suggestions made by the CISF which is responsible for security of our installations and the progress of different measures that were taken after the Maoist attack at Damanjodi," C R Pradhan, chairman and managing director of Nalco told ET from New Delhi.

"In today’s meeting, we have agreed on the need to have regular meetings and interactions with the CISF based on various intelligence reports they prepare for us. This would help us review the situation on a regular basis, every 15 days or so," he added. A copy of the minutes of the meeting would also be sent to the union mines ministry.

On its part, Nalco has entrusted B L Bagra, director (finance) with the responsibility of supervising CISF activity across the company’s installations. He is supposed to carry on his responsbility till further notice. Incidentally, it is also the first time that a director level person has been given the job of spreaheading and monitoring security across the company’s units.

The ghastly Maoist attack on its bauxite mines in Orissa has induced Nalco to start thinking about setting up a full-fledged department to monitor security arrangements on its own. The department will involve a strength of 20-25 personnel who will be responsible for monitoring the CISF activity across the company’s mines and installations. "We would require approval from our ministry and also from the company’s board before we can take it forward," Mr Pradhan said.

This marks a significant departure in Nalco’s security plan. The company has so far relied on a sole security consultant based at its corporate headquarters at Bhubaneswar to monitor and supervise CISF activities for which Nalco spends nearly Rs 24 crore every year.

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