ROURKELA:With the strike by truck and tipper operators over freight rate in Sundargarh and Keonjhar entering its second day on Tuesday, the transportation of iron ore from Koida and Joda mining circles to industries was paralysed.
The strike comes in the wake of freight dispute among the vehicle operators and transporters of various sponge iron industries and mines in Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts.
Sources said 8,000 to 10,000 trucks and tippers in Sundargarh and above 15,000 trucks and tippers in Keonjhar have went off the roads to paralyse transportation of minerals from mines. As many as 12 associations in Sundargarh and four associations in Keonjhar have joined the agitation.
Representatives of 12 associations in Sundargarh on Tuesday held two rounds of meeting at Kaleiposh and Koida under Koida block in Bonai sub-division. Tipper Owners’ Association, Rourkela (TOAR) president BR Beura said it was decided to continue the agitation till their main demand for fixation of legitimate freight rate is met. Former Bonai MLA Bhimsen Choudhary said it was also decided to invite leaders of the four associations of Keonjhar to Koida to chalk out future course of action.
Keonjhar-based president of Barbil Mining Area Truck Owners’ Association Taranisen Mohapatra said above 15,000 heavy vehicles are associated with mineral transportation and all truck and tipper operators have willingly joined the strike.
Koida Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) Salil Behera said while mining operations are continuing at 23 mines of Koida, the daily average dispatch of about 40,000 tonnes of minerals has been affected. Similarly, Joda DDM SK Nayak said daily dispatch of about 70,000 tonnes of minerals from private mines has been disrupted and if the strike continues for long, it would have adverse impact on Government revenue earning.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said the administration is keeping a watch on the situation in the district and is committed to ensure free and fair business practices as per laid down guidelines. If necessary, a meeting of the aggrieved parties would be convened for an amicable solution, he added.