Reported by Sandeep Pattnaik
Bhubaneswar, Dec 31:
The year-long deadlock at the Orissa Sponge Iron factory premises at Palaspanga in Keonjhar district has came to an end, according to sources.
“The lock-out at the plant site was revoked following an agreement between the workers’ union and the management and the workers will be paid half their salary despite the fact that they have been out of work since last one year,” said Mrs Manjushree Das, a senior official of OSIL in charge of Personnel and Administration.
“But resuming work is not possible as of now due to unavailability of raw material,” she added.
Workers of the plant resorted to strike on October 14 over various issues like payment of bonus to the employees and scarcity of raw materials like iron ore, coal, dolomite/limestone to run the sponge iron plant, a company official said. This has resulted in to lock-out of the factory since last one year, sources said.
Orissa Sponge, a wholly owned company of the Government of Odisha, set up the first commercial coal-based sponge iron plant in the backward district of Keonjhar in 2005. The company has occurred losses for the last few years after recording profits in the initial few years, due to several reasons including improper management of officials at the helm of affairs.
The PSU has been granted Stage-I clearance for carrying out mining activities at Palaspanga in Keonjhar district in 2012. Stage-II clearance is still awaited, a company official informed.
OSIL has gross sponge iron production capacity of 250000 TPY [100000 TPY (DR I) and 150000 TPY (DR II) at its Keonjhar plant, steel billet units of 100000 TPY and also a captive power unit of 36 MW capacity [CPP1 of 12 MW and CPP2 of 24MW) at present.