ROURKELA: A shipping officer and a crane operator of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) of SAIL were on Saturday arrested by Tangarpali police for allegedly stealing pig iron from RSP in connivance with a private firm.
Tangarpali police station IIC Padmasini Meher said shipping officer Rabi Narayan Das and crane operator Siba Shankar Jena of Pig Casting Machine (PCM)-1 site of RSP’s Blast Furnace department were involved in excess loading of pig iron in a truck. She said earlier the driver, helper and a supervisor of a private firm based at Kuanrmunda were arrested in this connection while some others are still at large.
The proprietor of the firm is also an accused in the case and has obtained anticipatory bail from Orissa High Court, police said.
Earlier, Rourkela SP Uma Shankar Das had said it appeared that an organised racket was involved in pilferage of pig iron from RSP and the Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Panposh was investigating it.
In the first week of September, acting on a tip off, personnel of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had seized a multi-axle truck carrying pig iron.
CISF sources said while the truck was about to leave, it was taken for re-weighing and found to be carrying 18.660 tonnes, while it had valid documents to carry 12.220 tonnes from the plant.
They said the excess quantity of 6.220 tonnes was valued at about `1.79 lakh. The contraband-laden truck, along with the driver, helper and supervisor of the private firm were handed over to Tangarpali police for further investigation.
Crop damage looms large over 9k ha
Rourkela: After adequate rainfall in last week of August, paddy cultivation was revived in some affected blocks of the rain-fed Sundargarh district, but fear of damage to standing paddy crops looms large on 8,000 to 9,000 hectares (ha) upland in three blocks.
According to agriculture officials, amid deficit rainfall in July and till August 17, paddy transplantation operation over 4,000 ha and paddy ‘beusaning’ (inter-cultural) operation over 5,000 ha of upland in Tangarpali, Sadar and Lefripara blocks were affected. On August 22, Sundargarh MLA Yogesh Singh of Congress had called on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding that Tangarpali, Sadar, Lefripara and Hemgir blocks be declared drought-hit. In a memorandum, he had claimed that transplanting operations over 7,500 ha of upland and inter-cultural operation over 14,500 ha of upland were affected.