MAC: Mines and Communities

War Intensifies Against Vedanta

Published by MAC on 2007-05-15
Source: New India Press

War Intensifies Against Vedanta

New India Press

15th May 2007

BHUBANESWAR: Opposition to the Vedanta's alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district is all set to intensify with the Congress and Left parties announcing that from June 16 check gates will be erected to prevent the vehicles of the company from entering the project site.

Announcing this at a media conference here on Monday, the leaders of the two parties said that the 'satyagraha' will continue for an indefinite period till the company abandons the project.

After the steel projects of Tisco and Posco, this is the third mega project which is facing opposition from the locals. While in the case of Posco and Tisco, local people are opposed to land acquisition, in Vedanta's case mining of bauxite from the Niyamgiri Hills is being opposed.

Green Kalahandi, an organisation floated by former Union minister and Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das, is spearheading the agitation.

Alleging that the project will have devastating effect on the ecology of Niyamgiri area which is one of the oldest and richest forest areas of the State in terms of bio-diversity, Das alleged that the project will reverse the green revolution that has taken place in the district in the last decade.

The Congress and Left leaders demanded a CBI inquiry into the deal between the State Government and Vedanta to expose the 'unholy alliance between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the company'.

The haste with which the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for the company a year before the signing of the Mou [Memorandum of Understanding] clearly points out that there is an underhand deal, they alleged.
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