Jajpur Road: The workers at the IDCOL-owned ferrochrome plant were worried after its authorities shut down operations from Friday afternoon.
It is alleged that over 300 labourers posted at various sites of the plant were not given gate passes Saturday morning and not allowed inside to report for duty at their worksites.
The workers returned home after waiting for a long time. Some of them were even seen waiting outside with an expectation that things would improve and they would be allowed to join work. However, that didn’t happen.
A labour leader and social activist Dushmant Rout held the plant authorities responsible for this. He questioned why the innocent labourers should bear the brunt of mismanagement of the plant and asked the labourers to launch an agitation.
Sources said the management has shut down the plant by closing down operations in two blast furnaces and will only operate its two jigging plants.
The jigging plant-1 will be operated by the plant authorities and the jigging plant-2 by a contractor with the help of 30-40 labourers.
According to sources, the plant authorities will earn monthly revenue of Rs 30 lakh if the two jigging plants remain in operation. The authorities are reportedly spending Rs 1.30 crore per month to run the plant.
However, after the closure of its two blast furnaces, the plant authorities will only earn Rs 30 lakh by running the jigging plants.
This amount will help them recover a part of monthly expenditure of Rs 1.30 crore but in the end they will lose Rs 1 crore, the sources added.
The news of the shut down has sparked resentment among various quarters. Residents have called on the state government to intervene and save hundreds of labourers from losing their livelihood.