Pro-industry tribal groups move court for Vedanta project

Friday, November 12, 2010

BHUBANESWAR - At least eight pro-industry tribal groups Friday moved the Orissa High Court against the central environment ministry’s order disapproving the London-listed Vedanta’s refinery expansion in the state citing violations, a lawyer said.

The public suits were filed by residents of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts on behalf of their groups, lawyer Partha Mukherji told IANS.

“Most of the petitioners are tribal. According to them, the livelihoods of the millions of tribals and residents of the area like them are at stake after the central environment and forests ministry denied the permission for expansion,” he said.

“They want restriction imposed by the ministry on the Vedanta expansion project be immediately quashed,” Mukherji said.

“In the last three months, most of the shops and markets have been closed. Our people have again started migrating to other states,” Sridhar Pesina one of the petitioners said.

Last month, the central environment and forests ministry refused to allow Vedanta Aluminium Limited expand its one million tonne per annum refinery in Lanjigarh area in Kalahandi district to six million tonne and the captive power plant to 300 megawatts from 75 megawatts.

However, it allowed the company to continue operations of its one million tonne refinery. The company said it has not violated any laws.

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