1) India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests rejects Vedanta’s Niyamgiri project
Vedanta Mining Project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills Rejected
The Ministry of Environment and Forests rejected Vedanta mining project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills. Talking to reporters here today, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Shri Jairam Ramesh said that the Vedanta Resources has violated laws and the Niyamgiri Hills project cannot be given the go ahead unless the Forest Act is complied with. See http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=65201.
The MoEF report and recommendations are available at http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/Vedanta-24082010.pdf.
2) Media coverage of the MoEF’s decision
The Indian tribe that took on a mining giant – and won
They said they considered the mountain their god, a living deity that provided them with everything they required to sustain their lives. They said they would fight to the death before seeing the pristine mountain destroyed. Remarkably, they won their battle.
Corporate power faced down
Two decades ago, the Indian state made a shamefully one-sided deal with Union Carbide over the 1984 Bhopal disaster, which killed 3,800 people and blighted the lives of thousands more. The Supreme Court, supported by the Delhi government, cleared the American firm of legal liability in return for a minimal payout to victims.
Yet that supine attitude from the Indian state towards corporate power now feels like a distant memory. Yesterday, the Delhi government turned down the application of the Vedanta mining company to extract Bauxite from the Niyamgiri hills in the eastern state of Orissa. The government has also said that Vedanta might already be breaching environmental laws by processing bauxite extracted from elsewhere without permits.
Vedanta’s failure to speak out earlier could cost it dearly
If, as Vedanta claims, the allegations against it from human rights groups such as Survival and Amnesty are “lies and hoax”, the list of those to have been deceived includes the Norwegian state pension fund, their counterparts in the Netherlands and the Church of England. And yesterday another name could be added to that list: Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister. He claimed that the company is liable for “serious violations of environment protection acts” in its efforts to build a bauxite mine in the Nyamgiri Hills, home to the Dongria Kondh tribe, in the east Indian state of Orissa.
Vedanta mine plan halted by Indian government
Controversial plans to develop a bauxite mine on sacred tribal land in India have been scuppered as India’s environment ministry has rejected a proposal by Vedanta Resources to mine the aluminium ore in the eastern state of Orissa. Campaigners, who have been backed in their fight against the mining giant’s plans by Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin, described the move as a “stunning victory”. Monty Python star turned professional traveller Palin expressed “absolute delight” in the news adding: “I hope it will send a signal to the big corporations that they can never assume that might is right. It’s a big victory for the little people.”
It is ‘no’ to Vedanta’s mine project in Orissa
After a long drawn-out consultation process, the Union government has finally pronounced its verdict against Vedanta Alumina’s $1.7-billion plan to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills of Orissa. See http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article591546.ece.
Environment Ministry stalls Vedanta’s Niyamgiri project in Orissa
The environment ministry on Tuesday rejected a plan by India-focused mining group Vedanta Resources Plc to mine bauxite in Orissa, dealing a blow to the company already struggling with regulatory issues in India. The decision pertains to one mining site in Orissa where it runs an alumina refinery on bauxite imported from elsewhere in India. See http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/metals–mining/Environment-Ministry-stalls-Vedantas-Niyamgiri-project-in-Orissa/articleshow/6425059.cms
India declines permission to London-based Vedanta to mine bauxite for its alumina refinery
India rejects Vedanta plans to mine tribal land
India has rejected controversial plans by mining group Vedanta to extract bauxite in the eastern state of Orissa. The project had breached environmental protection acts and raised concerns for the rights of local tribes, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said. Vedanta’s other ventures in Orissa were being investigated separately, he said.
The law catches up with Vedanta
Faith in law of land restored
3) The reports on which the MoEF decision was based
The full Forest Advisory Committee’s decision on the NC Saxena Committee Report can be found at http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/Agenda%20Item24082010.pdf.
The report of the committee headed by Dr N C Saxena to look into issues of forest rights of Dongaria Kondhs and ecological issues is available at:
Indian government committee condemns Vedanta’s proposed Nyamgiri mine
‘11 of 14 bauxite mines in Lanjigarh illegal’
Digging out more dirt on the Orissa government over bauxite mining for Vedanta Resources, the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the environment ministry has said that 11 of the 14 mines in the Lanjigarh area are “illegal”. This revelation has been made in a regional office report of the ministry on alleged mining violations in the area. Earlier, the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had said 60 per cent of mining in the state was illegal. The FAC, in its report to Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday, has sought action against the state government for not taking Centre’s approval before starting mining operations.
4) Campaign group comments on the MoEF decision
Amnesty International today described the Indian government’s decision to reject the bauxite mine project in Orissa’s Niyamgiri Hills as a landmark victory for the human rights of Indigenous communities. India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests today rejected the mine project proposed by a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources and the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation, after finding that the project already extensively violates forest and environmental laws and would perpetrate abuses against the Dongria Kondh adivasi and other communities on the Hills.
Great news on Vedanta
David v. Goliath: Indian tribe in ‘stunning’ victory over mining giant