India rejects Vedanta mine plans for Orissa


BBC News |

India’s environment ministry has refused permission for the UK mining group Vedanta to extract bauxite in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. Laast week, a report commissioned by the ministry said allowing mining in the area would deprive two ancient tribes of their rights. Vedanta’s plans to extract bauxite from a hill revered by a tribal community have caused controversy.Vedanta has said it will abide by the government’s decision.

Sacred

A four-member panel, which investigated alleged violations of environmental laws by Vedanta in Orissa’s Kalahandi district, gave its report to the ministry last week. It said that allowing mining in the area would deprive two tribal groups – the Kutia and Dongria Kondh – of their rights over the site for the benefit of a private company. It said that would “shake the faith” of tribal people in the laws of the land. The report concluded that the mine would destroy some 7 sq km (2.7 sq miles) of forest land and threaten the tribe’s survival.The Dongria Kondh say the mining project will destroy a major part of the Niyamgiri hill, which they consider sacred and a source of livelihood.

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