Keonjhar: What is being seen as exploitation of loopholes in Steel & Mines department’s regulations governing iron ore pellets, the mining mafia is alleged to have resorted to smuggling of pellets instead of iron ore.
Such an incident came to light at Banspani Railway siding in Keonjhar district. According to sources, four days back, iron ore pellets from Jindal Steel and Power Limited’s pellet plant in Deojhar was unloaded at the stock yard of Arya Iron & Steel Co Pvt Ltd located in the railway siding. However, it is alleged that there was an attempt to hush up the matter by attributing it as a mistake of the driver who unloaded, while locals claimed that it was a novel strategy of siphoning off the pellets.
Few days back Joda Police had seized 62 tonne worth of pellets being smuggled near the railway siding. Three persons were also arrested but it has been alleged that it was just a mere whitewash.
Locals further alleged that the smuggling of pellets is going on a routine basis in collusion of the mining companies, mafia and the administration.
“As there is no one to monitor, there is no accountability on pellets and it is bound to be stolen. Many illegalities will be exposed if investigations are carried out properly,” said a local resident, Sishir Mohanty.
Meanwhile, talking to OTV, Corporate Communications Officer of Jindal, Prashant Hota said, “Our pellets have returned to our siding situated at Banspani. It was a manmade mistake and there is no collusion of companies in it.”
While local police is silent on it, authorities of Arya have denied commenting on the matter.