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Protest forces Vedanta to stall ore movement

Protest forces Vedanta to stall ore movement

13 Nov 2017 No comment 11 hits

Margao: The tension that had built-up at Vedanta's Codli mine since Monday morning after hundreds of protesting truck owners laid siege to it, finally eased by noon after the mining firm conveyed to authorities its inability to start mining transportation under the present circumstances.

Following Vedanta's written communication to deputy collector, Dharbandora, Agnelo Fernandes, in that regard, the latter withdrew police protection granted to the mining major.

"A letter was received from Vedanta at 11.53am that due to certain issues they are not in a position to restart transportation today, and that they shall intimate in advance when they plan to restart it. Accordingly, I have withdrawn police force," Fernandes told Reporters at the site.

Agitating truck owners, numbering over 500, had assembled near the main gate of the mining firm since Monday morning determined to pre-empt any moves to start mining transportation under police cover. A huge posse of policemen was stationed at the site. As the situation grew increasingly tense, mamlatdar Laxmikant Kuttikar held talks with Vedanta officials to inquire about their plans of transportation. When they indicated their inability to go ahead with their plans of transportation under police cover, Kuttikar asked them to give it in writing, which they did a couple of hours later.

The crowd dispersed after this decision was conveyed to them, even as protesters vowed to continue with their protest until their demand for hike in transportation rates is met.

Sanvordem MLA Dipak Pauskar and Sanguem MLA Prasad Gaonkar pledged their support to the truckers' lobby, with both criticizing Vedanta for adopting a rigid stand over the issue.

Meanwhile, Vedanta's Iron Ore division has clarified that it is "committed to begin mining with the support of all stakeholders of the industry".

"The organization is following directives as given by state authorities for transporting ore and is not taking an independent decision as stated in the media. The government has fixed transportation rates at Rs 12.50 per tonne per km for distances up to 10km, Rs 12 per tonne per km for distances between 11-20km, and Rs 11.50 per tonne per km for distances above 20km and we are completely aligned to it," said an official spokesperson of the organization.


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Source: Protest forces Vedanta to stall ore movement

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