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A news report from India's IANS news service confirms that indigenous families forced off their land

Published by MAC on 2005-06-25

A news report from India's IANS news service confirms that indigenous families forced off their land for Vedanta's new bauxite mining operations in the south-west of Chhattisgarh have been "totally devastated". Meanwhile, in an attempt to whitewash its tarnished image over the alleged Korba land theft, a spokesperson for Vedanta/Balco claims his company is "one of the most respected industrial groups of the world."

State's mining-affected tribals to be rehabilitated

Saturday June 25 2005


RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh on Friday ordered proper rehabilitation of 20 tribal families displaced by a bauxite-mining project.

Chief Minister Raman Singh passed the orders after members of the Baiga tribe of Kawardha district met him and complained that the bauxite mines had "totally devastated" their houses and agricultural land.

The tribals informed Singh that most of their families were engaged in the bauxite mining work that began four months back. However, since this had totally ruined their land, they had no option but to migrate from the area.

Singh, who belongs to Kawardha district, promptly ordered the district administration to ensure early and proper rehabilitation of all the 20 Baiga families, officials said.

"Raman Singh has taken the issue seriously and asked the administration to immediately provide sufficient and safe agriculture and housing land to compensate the loss due to mining," an official release said.

Surguja and Kawardha are the only two of Chhattisgarh's 16 districts that have bauxite reserves. The state government handed over a large stretch of Kawardha district to aluminium major Balco last year to provide raw material for its Korba-based plant, 200 km from here.

Sterlite-controlled Balco, which is expanding its smelter units with Rs. 50 billion investment to raise annual production from 100,000 tonnes to 3.5 million tonnes, gets 100 percent of its raw material from Surguja and Kawardha districts.

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