Vedanta fells trees

Environment ministry awaits report of fact finding mission

By Ashutosh Mishra
Published: Sunday 28 February 2010

People  belonging to Dongria Kondh tribal community have accused multinational mining company, Vedanta, of felling trees near Niyamgiri hills for bauxite mining.

The allegations were levelled when members of a fact finding committee of the Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) visited Kalahandi in the last week of January. The committee headed by retired additional director general of MOEF, Vinod Rishi, is looking into possible violation of forest and wildlife laws.

Sidhhartha Nayak, president of Kalahandi Sachetan Nagrik Manch, said Vedanta illegally felled trees for widening two roads to reach the hilltop. Nayak also alleged the company is building a 2 km-long-road along the conveyor belt to be installed to transport bauxite from the hilltop to the refinery at the foothills. The forest department denied this. Kumuti Majhi, a Kondh tribal from Kendubaradi village confirmed felling of trees. The committee is expected to file its report with the ministry, soon.

The committee is expected to file its report with the ministry, soon.

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