Labourers demand bauxite for Vedanta refinery

Bhawanipatna: Demonstrations are being staged by labourers of Vedanta's Lanjigarh almunia refinery demanding bauxite for the factory.

Thousands of labourers were engaged in bauxite unloading and were earning Rs 5000 to Rs 15000 per month.

However, after the closure of Vedantas alumina refinery at Lanjigarh bauxite transportation has stopped leaving the labourers unemployed, Chandra Behera, President, Bauxite Unloading Shramika Sangha said here.

Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) had closed its one mt capacity alumina refinery at Lanjigarh from December 5, 2012 due to shortage of bauxite, which is the raw material for alumina.

The demonstrators, majority of them local people, have appealed to the Odisha and central governments to provide them alternate source of livelihood or arrange bauxite source for Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL).

Earlier I was earning Rs 2,000 per month. However, after I was engaged in transportation of bauxite, I started earning Rs 12,000 per month. Now after closure of the plant, who will provide me livelihood?, asked an aggrieved worker.

Bauxite used to be transported by trains to the refinery and was taken in trucks from Daikhalu railway station in Rayagada district, which is 12 km away from the VAL plant.

The road transport process had engaged more than 1000 people including truck owners, drivers and labours, the demonstrators said.

A large number of labourers staged a demonstration yesterday at Daikhalu Railway Station, after the one on Wednesday at Lanjigarh.