It’s around noon in Thoothukudi, a district situated in the south-eastern part of Tamil Nadu and home to Sterlite Copper’s manufacturing unit at the SIPCOT Industrial Complex. In the sweltering heat, a truck bearing the number plate, TN 69 4235, trundles its way out of the plant. It’s a long journey ahead since the consignment is to be delivered at Sterlite’s unit at Silvassa, located at a good 1,700 km-plus from the southern state. Forty-five-year-old Shanmugham, who’s at the wheels, and his assistant, Murugan, know the route quite well but are also aware that the consignment is worth over Rs.1.5 crore.
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