Vedanta get the no-no

Aug 24, 2010

The Indian government, under pressure from international campaigners, but primarily Orissa people in their relentless campaign to save their mountains and livelihoods, commissioned a report. The report has now been published.

The report commissioned was one with teeth, it had decision making powers on the bid by Vedanta to open-cast mine incredible amounts of bauxite from the Niyamgiri range in Orissa.

121,000 trees were going to be felled, a seven square kilometre scar would be inflicted on the Niyamgiri wildlife sanctuary and the habitats of Deer, Antelope and a rare lizard, the Golden Gekko, were threatened with complete destruction. The human cost, the report stated would also be incredibly high, 20% of the Dongria Kondh tribe would be adversely and severely affected.

The report, drawn up by a panel on behalf of India’s Ministry of Environment & Forests concluded:

“This committee is of the firm view that allowing mining in the proposed mining lease area by depriving two Primitive Tribal Groups of their rights over the proposed mining site in order to benefit a private company would shake the faith of tribal people in the laws of the land.”

You’re not wrong there, committee people!
They concluded:

“Since the company in question has repeatedly violated the law, allowing it further access to the proposed mining lease area at the cost of the rights of the Kutia and Dongaria Kondh, will have serious consequences for the security and well being of the entire country.”

All in all a fantastic result. We shall be watching to see if there’s any attempt to get round this ruling or to appeal against it.

Interesting words, there: “… the company [Vedanta]… has repeatedly violated the law…” and not just in India.

Vedanta have a lot of interest in Copper mining in Zambia, and there’s disputes going on against the company there. So, we’re not calling it quits after a victory over a part of this corporation’s reckless pursuit of profit at the cost of workers and indigenous people across the planet.

We’ll be reporting on Vedanta in Zambia soon. Watch this space.


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