Saturday, June 27, 2009

SER suspends mineral transportation

E xpress News Service First Published : 27 Jun 2009 10:44:07 AM ISTLast Updated :

ROURKELA: The South Eastern Railway (SER) has suspended mineral transportation through the Rourkela-Bimlagarh route since last night following the 48-hour economic blockade call given by the banned CPI (Maoist) outfit.

While mineral carrying road vehicles plied normally in the mineral-rich Bonai sub-division of Sundargarh district till today evening, it is likely that they would go off roads from tomorrow.

The protest effective from today over Lalgarh issue in West Bengal is the third this month and comes close on the heels of the 48-hour Naxal-sponsored shutdown four days ago.

The Rourkela-Bimlagarh single track link, which extends till Kiriburu mines in neighbouring Jharkhand is the lifeline for transportation of iron ore from various mines in Bonai sub-division.

While Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) owns the Kiriburu, Roxy and Barsuan railway sidings, the Renjda, Chandiposh and Bimlagarh sidings cater to the need of private iron and steel industries which means supply of iron ore to SAIL’s Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), Durgapur Steel Plant and Bokaro Steel Plant, to some extent, besides private industries would remain disrupted.

The SER has reasons to play safe. It is increasingly a hostile affair to shield the track passing through forested and hilly terrains. On February 27 night two SER men were kidnapped and a couple of years ago two locomotives were set on fire at Topadihi to tame the SER.

Earlier, on June 12 night during similar shutdown Maoists blew up tracks near Chandiposh station in which empty good trains escaped the explosion.

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