Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Indian rail damage hits NMDC iron ore supplies

Iron ore supplies from India's largest miner, NMDC Ltd, have stopped from a key state after suspected Maoists rebels damaged rail tracks, government officials said on Tuesday.

A freight train carrying 4,000 tonnes of iron ore from state-run NMDC's mine in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh in central India derailed on Monday following sabotage of tracks, they said.

"It is not confirmed who removed clips from rail tracks that led to the derailment but it seems to be an act of Maoists," P. Sundarraj, a senior police official in the state, told Reuters.

Railway officials said the track could be reopened by Wednesday.
S.P. Himanshu, assistant general manager at NMDC, said the disruption has halted 56,000 tonnes of iron ore the company shipped each day on the sector.
NMDC has two mining complexes in Chhattisgarh's Bailadila sector that produced 77% of the company's total output of 28.52 million tonnes in 2008/09.

Steel companies that get iron ore from the Dantewada mines are private sector Essar Steel and Vikram Ispat and state firms Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd.

Maoist rebels, operating out of jungle hideouts in eastern and central India, often bomb railway tracks, damage government property and kill policemen and politicians.
They ambushed and killed 76 government forces earlier this month, their worst attack in a four-decades-old insurgency that underscored their growing strength.

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