MAC: Mines and Communities

Congress alleges kickback in alumina plant deal

Published by MAC on 2004-10-27

Congress alleges kickback in alumina plant deal

October 27 2004

Bhubaneswar: Congress MLA Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mahapatra alleged on Tuesday that there was a kickback in the deal between the State Government and the Vedanta Alumina Limited, a subsidiary of the Sterlite Industries for the establishment of an alumina plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district.

He even demanded a judicial inquiry. Mahapatra told newspersons that though the agreement between Orissa Mining Corporation and Vedanta Alumina was signed only 15 days back, the company had started construction work at the site six months ago.

There was a tacit understanding between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the company before Assembly polls, he added.

Mahapatra pointed out that the company has not obtained forest and environment clearance for the project though a part of it will be on forestland.

Alleging that the Government has thus violated the Forest Act and guidelines of the Supreme Court, he further said the Karlapat bauxite mines on which the alumina project depends falls within the wildlife sanctuary.

The Congress will raise the issue in the winter session of the Assembly starting November 1, he said. Patnaik, however, brushed aside these allegations as ''false and baseless''.

Asserting that all projects will be implemented as per law, Patnaik advised the Opposition Congress leaders to be more progressive and less negative about industrialisation of the State. He said that the proposed project of Vedanta would offer a large number of direct and indirect employment.

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