Chandikhole: Iron ore transportation to Paradip port currently remains suspended as transporters and truck owners are refusing to take the mineral due to the hike in fuel prices and spare parts of vehicles.
They have said that transporting the mineral leads to heavy losses. Taking advantage of the situation, smuggling of iron ore, pellets and coal are on the rise in Budhakendua area of Jajpur district.
The smuggling mafia is managing to hoodwink the law and carry out their nefarious activities.
According to reports, the miscreants are transporting iron ore illegally from Kalinganagar area in trucks at the dead of night and selling it to a factory in collusion with its staff.
Lack of action by enforcement agencies and police has encouraged such illegal activities in the area, it was alleged. Scores of trucks are also allegedly operating from Kalinganagar to Budhakendua carrying iron pellets in huge quantities.
Sources said, 20 to 30 trucks are engaged in such illegal iron ore transportation without valid documents, but police and officials of the Mines department have failed to take any preventive measures.
In fact, some of them are not even aware that such activities are continuing under their noses. Budhakendua is a hill-locked place and tribal dominated area, 15km from NH-16, which makes it easy for mafia to carry on their activities, it is said.
In another development, a number of trucks carrying iron ore have been hijacked and taken to a different destination from their original one in the past.
The situation has become a cause of concern for the police. Police suspect that a huge racket is behind such a clandestine operation.
Some locals demanded that special squads of the Mines department should conduct raids in the area. They said that is the only way to bust the racket.
When contacted, Bairi IIC Sanghamitra Nayak said that police are aware of trucks operating in the area. However, she feigned ignorance when asked about the smuggling of iron ore.
However, she assured that she will look into the matter personally and a proper investigation will be carried out.