Environment ministry rejects mining project saying it violated laws
The Environment Ministry on Tuesday rejected a plan by mining giant Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying it violated forest laws.
|Environment Ministry stalls Vedanta's project in Orissa|
"There have been serious violations of environment protection acts," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters. Vedanta's plan to mine bauxite in Niyamgiri hills could destroy forests sacred to tribal communities living there. "There is no emotion, no politics, no prejudice ... I have taken the decision in a purely legal approach, these laws are being violated."
The Ministry's decision comes after a government panel said last week that giving permission to Vedanta would violate green guidelines and may have a serious impact on security. The Forest Advisory Committee had submitted a report to the minister after reviewing the suggestions given by the N C Saxena panel seeking a ban on the mining project.
The Saxena report had citied many violations of the in-principle environment clearance given to the Orissa Mining Corporation in 2008 including non-compliance with the provisions of the Forest Rights Act. The state-owned corporation is in a joint venture with Sterlite Industries to mine the bauxite for global mining giant Vedanta’s alumina refinery in nearby Lanjigarh.