MAC: Mines and Communities

SC team opposes mining in two areas in Orissa

Published by MAC on 2005-01-12

SC team opposes mining in two areas in Orissa

NDTV Correspondent

January 12, 2005

Bhubaneshwar - The Supreme Court fact-finding team, inquiring allegations of violations of forest and environment laws by Vedanta Alumina in Lanjigarh in Orissa, has strongly opposed any mining activity in Niyamgiri and Karlapat areas.

These two areas have been offered to the company for bauxite mining by the state-owned mining corporation.

The SC team has also found evidence of illegal felling of trees by the company.

Ecologists claim victory

Environmentalists say this report is a victory for them.

"Niyamgiri and Karlapat areas cannot be used for mining because they are rich biospheres. Mining would affect the water flow in Vanshadhara river and also pollute it," said Biswajit Mohanty, environmentalist.

"My allegations have now been upheld by the team in their report which has also recommended strong action against the company for the violations," said Lulu Mohapatra, Congress MLA.

However, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had taken a keen interest in the project and laid the foundation of the alumina refinery plant early last year, says he is yet to get a copy of the report.

The Orissa government is already in the dock over the Tangarpara chromite mines deal with the Jindal group following a hard-hitting high court judgment.

The Opposition claims that there have been huge kickbacks in these mining deals and is demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister.

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