MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta asked to stop construction

Published by MAC on 2007-03-11

Vedanta asked to stop construction

The Hindu

11th March 2007

* No environmental clearance: Pollution Board

* A copy of the order sent to Ministry of Environment

* Lok Shakti Abhijan lodges complaint against VAL

BHUBANESWAR: State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has directed the Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) to stop construction activities for its proposed aluminium complex in Jharsuguda district as the company had not obtained environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

In a letter addressed to VAL's General Manager (HR), the SPCB Member Secretary, said "The regional officer of SPCB has reported that you have started construction and mechanical erection of power plant, smelter plant and green anode plant with approach road without obtaining environmental clearance from MoEF."

The board asked the company to stop all construction till it obtained environmental clearance from MoEF. A copy of the direction has been sent to the MoEF.

SPCB investigates

The SPCB had made the investigation after president of Lok Shakti Abhijan Prafulla Samantara submitted a complaint that the company had indulged in illegal construction work without having necessary environmental clearance in its possession.

Mr. Samantara submitted that full-fledged work was initiated by the company at Brundamal village of Jharsuguda for its proposed 2,50,000 tonne per annum capacity aluminium smelter and 675 mw captive thermal plant.

The social activist had provided details of the construction along with photographs to SPCB. "This activity on the part of the company is clearly violating the guidelines of Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 1994, which clearly mentions that no construction work preliminary or otherwise, relating to the setting up of the project should be undertaken till the environmental and site clearance is obtained," Mr. Samantara pointed out.

In a similar circumstance, the VAL had run into controversy for allegedly starting construction at its proposed alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district. The case was pending in Supreme Court

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