Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nalco slashes storage of explosives at Damanjodi Mines

19 Jun 2009, 2044 hrs IST, Nageshwar Patnaik, ET Bureau

BHUBANESWAR: The public sector aluminium major, Nalco has drastically brought down the stock of explosive materials at its magazine house of its
bauxite mines located in Koraput district of Orissa as part of the strategy to strengthen security measures in the aftermath of Naxals attack on April 12 last.

The Company officials said here that the stock of explosive material such as booster-explosives, which was around 21.75 tonnes one month before the Naxals attack, has now been reduced to 2.25 tonnes, while the stock of column explosives has been brought down from 10.12 tonnes to 1.15 tonnes and that of ammonia nitrate from 3.95 tonnes to only 0.70 tonnes. The stock-holding has been reduced to one tenth overall.

The company has decided to keep only 4 to 5 days’ need in stock of these explosive materials at the magazine house of the bauxite mines even as it would put additional pressure on the company's logistics system. "However, considering the security aspect in the Naxal-infested areas of Koraput, Nalco has geared up its traffic department to handle the explosives movement efficiently. Reduction in stockpile of explosive will considerably minimize the threat
perception for future", a Company press release said here.

Besides, Nalco has taken a number of other steps to augment security arrangements in the Mines and Refinery Complex at Damanjodi. The strength of CISF has been increased from 417 to 682 personnel. More bullet proof jackets with helmets have been arranged for security personnel.

Fortification of the vulnerable 'magazine' area has been completed with concertina fencing, provision of power fencing and strengthening watch towers and providing more high tower mochas for the safety of the 'magazine' area.

Nalco is also exploring the possibilities of 'blast free' mining methods, where there is no use of explosives. With these measures, Nalco hopes to significantly reduce the Naxals threat and carry out its mining operations in a secure environment.

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