Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nalco to minimise ‘explosive’ threat

Express News Service

Express News Service First Published : 20 Jun 2009 11:06:37 AM ISTLast Updated :

BHUBANESWAR: In an attempt to reduce vulnerability of the magazine house from Naxal attacks, the National Aluminium Company Limited has decided to drastically reduce the storage of explosives at its Panchpatmalli bauxite mines in Koraput.

As per the latest strategy, stock of explosive material like booster-explosives has been reduced from 21.75 tonne, a month before Naxals attack on April 12, to just 2.25 tonne. Similarly, stock of column explosives has been slashed from 10.12 tonne to 1.15 tonnes while ammonia nitrate stock is down from 3.9 tonne to 0.70 tonne. The overall reduction in stock-holding now stands at 90 percent.

This was achieved after the company decided to keep a stock of just four to five days at the magazine house of the bauxite mines though this will mean a rise in pressure on company’s logistics system. In view of security scenario in Naxal-affected Koraput, the alumnium major has put its traffic department on job to handle the explosives movement efficiently. Reduction in stockpile of explosive will considerably minimise the threat perception for the future, an official release of Nalco said.

Besides, Nalco which came under fire for its security measures installed at the hill-top utilities has augmented the steps in Mines and Refinery Complex at Damanjodi. The strength of CISF personnel has been increased from 417 to 682 while more number of bullet proof jackets with helmets have been supplied to them.

Fortification of the magazine area is now complete with concertina fencing, power fencing and strengthened watch towers and more high tower morchas for safety.

Nalco is also exploring possibilities of ‘blast-free’ mining methods which require no use of explosives. These measures would help Nalco significantly reduce Naxals threat and carry out its mining operations.

The April 12 midnight attack had led to serious loss of life at the Nalco utility

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