ROURKELA: Production in Kuarnmunda-based Adhunik Metaliks Ltd (AML) plant in Sundargarh district was disrupted from Tuesday night after some miscreants uprooted its rail track over transport business rivalry. The AML had recently resumed partial operation.
On Sunday afternoon, a group of miscreants uprooted and damaged around 150 metre of rail track connecting the AML plant and Birmitrapur single track of South Eastern Railway (SER) by using an excavator machine.
Kuanrmunda OIC Shyamlal Oram said AML’s security officer lodged a complaint against one Sanjeev Pratap Singh alias Lalu Singh basing on which a case under Sections 447, 427 and 34 of the IPC was registered on Monday. Preliminary investigation and statements of witnesses revealed that Lalu is involved in the incident. Appropriate action would be taken after the investigation is completed, Oram said.
Sources said, Lalu, who has strong political connections, had bagged the lucrative transportation work at AML’s railway siding but failed to deliver. Accordingly, fresh tender was floated and the old contract firm was finalised for transportation work on Saturday. Peeved, Lalu damaged AML’s railway track using his men and excavator machine. However, Lalu denied the charges and claimed he was not named in the FIR.
After reopening in October end, AML had started production with two of its seven direct reduced iron (DRI) kilns. However, due to disruption in availability of raw materials, the operation of two DRI kilns came to a grinding halt from Tuesday night.
Transport contractor of AML Sandeep Mishra said due to the track damage, one railway rake of coal was diverted, while another of iron ore was detained on the route. He said plans to operate steel melting shop have also been affected and workers are not sure when production would resume as SER would restore the track.
President of AML Karmachari Sangh and CITU national vice-president Bishnu Mohanty demanded immediate action against the miscreants and said AML should be given protection as it has restored jobs of around 640 workers under its new ownership.
AML officials were not available for comment.