Odishatoday, 8th May, 2008
Bhubaneswar (Orissa): Hundreds of tribals from Kalahandi district staged a demonstration at PMG square opposing proposed mining lease in Niyamgiri hills on Wednesday. They demonstrated holding placards, banners and raised slogans opposing the proposed mining lease of Niyamgiri hills, which known for its rich biodiversity. Former union minister Bhakta Charan Das and convenor of Green Kalahandi, an organisation that has been strongly opposing handing over of the Niyamgiri hills to the Vedanta Group to source bauxite for its alumina refinery led the procession. They also demanded for proper compensation to the families that have affected by Vedanta Aluminium Limited. “We are not opposing the industrialisation of the state rather we oppose the proposed mining lease of Niyamgiri that was being worshipped by the tribals”, Mr. Das said. He also warned the State Govt. to refrain from handing over Niyamgiri hills and the nearby Karlapat sanctuary to any private company for extraction of bauxite; otherwise, a massive agitation would be launched in Kalahandi in future.