Special Correspondent

Government urged to make alternative arrangements for KIOCL workersKIOCL should be considered a "Nava Ratna"

SHIMOGA: Members of the Tungabhadra Ulisi Horata Okkoota staged a dharna on the Deputy Commissioner's office premises here on Monday to press for the rehabilitation of workers of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL), who have been rendered jobless after the closure of mining in Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district following the Supreme Court's order.

They demanded that the Government make alternative arrangements for the workers. KIOCL should be considered a "Nava Ratna" public-sector undertaking to offer post-retirement benefits to all those rendered jobless, they said and demanded the restoration of afforestation activities in the mined areas. Their other demand is formation of a committee comprising experts and representatives of the okkoota to oversee restoration work.

The demonstration was led by octogenarian freedom fighter Ponnammal, okkoota president Kalkuli Vittal Hegde, okkoota State convener K.L. Ashok and farmers' leader Kadidal Shamanna. A jatha of environmentalists was flagged off on the occasion.