Vedanta alert

Washing-after-work-3Indian state Odisha is planning to revive Vedanta Resources’ bauxite mining project …..Anyone who bought my small book “Elusive India: tribes” may have seen my reference on p37 to Vedanta who wanted to mine 72 million tonnes of bauxite from the Niyamgiri Hills which is the sacred home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. That was in 2009 and I tracked progress in my blog until the case went on appeal to the Supreme Court which ducked the issue and said the matter should be decided in Gram Sabha meetings held in 12 villages. All villages opposed Vedanta’s proposals.
This was a Landmark Decision for tribal peoples and resulted from much careful lobbying by organisations such as Survival International  (see update 20 November) and dedicated individuals like Michael Palin.
On 28 October 2015 Mining-technology.com, an interesting organisation that covers most aspects of mining and quarrying worldwide, warned that “Odisha state plans to revive bauxite mining project in Niyamgiri Hills, India”.
It goes on to state that Odisha steel and mines minister Prafulla Mallick said: “The state government is keen to hold gram sabhas again for Niyamgiri bauxite mining. We will seek legal opinion on whether we should seek permission of the Supreme Court or the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to conduct the gram sabhas.”
The BJP headed by PM Modi is very keen on industrial development and this might have an effect if this David and Goliath contest is reviewed. Comments are welcome.

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