MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta's Orissa prospects threatened with the boot

Published by MAC on 2004-11-03

Vedanta's Orissa prospects threatened with the boot

Last week an opposition (Congress) member of the Orissa state assembly threw his sandals into the public gallery and the Chief Minister was slightly injured in the ensuring brawl. It indicated belated legislative recognition that the British mining company, Vedanta, poses a clear and present danger to people in the state.

The pro-mining Orissa state government, hand in hand with Vedanta/Sterlite from the start (there are accusations of kick-backs), has been forced to admit it doesn't yet have forest or environment clearances for the Lanjigarh mine to proceed. This is despite the fact that work on the refinery started last year, and families have already been thrown off their land

Last month, too, the state-owned Orissa Mining Company confirmed a 1997 deal to allow Vedanta to mine at Karlapat, a bauxite mountain near Lanjgarh - opening the appalling prospect of a huge complex crossing hundreds of square kilometres of forested, Indigenous Peoples' territory.

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