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Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Resources, UK


Orissa tribal group protest against UK NRI Company

Bhubaneswar, Jan 17, 2009
Surinder Singh

Hundreds people of tribal group (Dongaria Kondhs) in the Kalahandi District demonstrated against Bauxite Mining Project along with the Lanjigarh alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.

The tribal group was shouting slogans:

  • Vedanta Go Back
  • Niyamgiri is our god.
  • Hills are our god. We cannot live without it. We are not going to allow the company to mine the hills

Niyamgiri Hills, named after the Niyamraja, the main deity of the Donagria Kondhs, are one of last untouched wildernesses of Orissa

Both state and central governments backed the mining plan as part of their effort to industrialize and exploit the mineral resources of underdeveloped eastern India.

Despite the opposition, on August 08. 2008, UK NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal's company, Vedanta Group firm Sterlite Industries announced that the Honourable Supreme Court of India approved the bauxite mining project at Lanjigarh in the Kalahandi District of Orissa. The Company is delighted that the project has been given the go-ahead and is committed to its implementation in accordance with the guidelines and safeguards laid down.

The bauxite mining project along with the Lanjigarh alumina refinery will bring significant employment and economic livelihood for the local people and contribute to the overall development of the region. Vedanta Alumina invested $800 million alumina refinery project at Lanjigarh.\

One of the communities, the Dongaria Kondh, under the Vedanta area has been classified as "Primitive Tribal Group" and the people have protected and worshipped the Niyamgiri hill for centuries and it forms part of their traditional habitat under section 3(1)(e) of the Forest Act. The protesters claim that mining would destroy jungles, pollute their rivers, take away their land and finish their culture.

On 11 November 2005, more than 2,000 tribal protesters marched towards the gate of Vedanta Alumina's Lanjigarh plant in Kalahandi District to urge the company to leave the area. According to the source, the kind of capital-intensive industrialization that is being pursued in Orissa has resulted in the displacement of more than nine million tribal peoples over the past 50 years. Tribal peoples from Kalinganagar in Jajpur district to Kashipur in Rayagada fear that the new industries would lead to the poisoning of their water and air.

Vedanta Resources plc (“Vedanta”) is a London listed FTSE 100 diversified metals and mining major. The group
produces aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, iron ore and commercial energy. Vedanta has operations in India, Zambia
and Australia and a strong organic growth pipeline of projects. With an empowered talent pool of 29,000 employees
globally, Vedanta places strong emphasis on partnering with all its stakeholders based on the core values of
entrepreneurship, excellence, trust, inclusiveness and growth.



UK NRI Anil Agarwal