MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta Project Under Fresh Scrutiny

Published by MAC on 2006-12-09
Source: Times of India

Vedanta project under fresh scrutiny

Times of India

9th December 2006

NEW DELHI: The Rs 4,000 crore bauxite and alumina refinery project of Vedanta Aluminium, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources, will now face > scrutiny by the central empowered committee (CEC) and forest advisory committee (FAC) under the environment law.

This was ordered by the Supreme Court on Friday after the Forest Bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justices Arijit Pasayat and R V Raveendran took into account the strong opposition to the project by CEC on the ground that it will harm the ecology of the forest area in southern Orissa.

The court accepted Solicitor General G E Vahanvati's suggestion on behalf of the Centre that CEC could give its objections to the technical committee report clearing the project and the same would be placed for consideration of the FAC, which is likely to be constituted by December 15.

The technical committee had given its clearance after the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in its impact assessment report had cleared the project to be located at Lanjigarh.

In its report to ministry of environment and forests, WII had green signalled the project but with advisories ranging from taking care of the elephant habitat to managing the natural springs and tribal life.

However, CEC, which was opposed to it right from the very beginning, maintained that the project would be harmful for the environment.

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