tribal group protest against UK NRI Company
Bhubaneswar, Jan 17, 2009
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
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
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.