The indefinite protest by tribals against NMDC's mining operations at deposit 13 in Bailadila hills range at Dantewada in Chhattisgarh ended Thursday, following which operations have resumed. Following a protest last week, the company had to suspend mining operations at deposit 13 of its Bailadila iron ore mines situated on a hill, which the tribals revered as the shrine of a local deity.
"The protest has ended and NMDC would be preparing a report on it," a steel ministry official said, adding that its senior officials are in Raipur to address the issue. Meanwhile, in a statement, NMDC said operations have resumed at its Bailadila mining complexes in Chhattisgarh.
"NMDC CMD N Baijendra Kumar had a meeting with Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel and senior government of the state Wednesday. NMDC has received timely support from the state government and local administration and... after almost a week-long agitation at Bailadila, Chhattisgarh, the mining operations at both Bailadila Mining Complexes i.e Kirandul and Bacheli have resumed today (Thursday)," the company said. The 10 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity Bailadila iron ore Deposit-13 was being developed by NMDC-CMDC Ltd, a joint venture of NMDC and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation.
The protest started after the joint venture awarded the operations contract to Adani Enterprises. The Congress government in the state on Tuesday halted the mining work at the Deposit-13 site after the protest and also initiated a probe into alleged illegal felling of trees to construct an approach road in the area.
According to a state government official, the contract for mine development was awarded to Adani Enterprises and tree-cutting work was underway to build an approach road to the mining site on the hill. A delegation led by Bastar Congress MP Dipak Baij Tuesday met the chief minister and complained about illegal felling of trees in the area and also informed him about the protest by tribals against mining there.
The chief minister also asked officials to examine claims made by the delegation that a "fake" gram sabha was held in 2014, when the BJP was ruling the state, to obtain approval of local residents for the project. NMDC-CMDC Ltd Chief Executive Officier V S Prabhakar had said that some people having vested interests are spreading propaganda that the lease of the mine has been transferred to Adani Enterprises for a period of 25 years which "is not true".
He said that except for NCL, none can transfer the lease to anyone and Adani Enterprises is only a mine developer-cum-operator for the project and lease has not been transferred to it.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)