Drive up from the district head-quarters of Bhawanipatna to Vedanta’s project site in Lanjigarh, and it is hard to miss the sight of rocks and trees clinging to the steep flanks of every hill along the way. This part of Kalahandi is mostly flat agrarian land with the odd tree-covered rock mass jutting out of the earth. But not at Niyamgiri itself. It is a place buried in smoke, and its people have accepted the resultant haze as a part of their lives. The fumes surround the Vedanta refinery, which started operations some two years ago, processing bauxite trucked in from Chattisgarh and elsewhere as the company awaits permission to mine Niyam Dongar.