Thursday, May 8, 2008

Green Kalahandi protests alumina project

The Pioneer, 8th May, 2008

Bhubaneswar: Activists of Green Kalahandi, led by former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das, on Wednesday held a demonstration in front of the State Assembly against the Vedanta group's alumina project in Kalahandi district. "Bauxite mining could destroy the remote Dongria Kondh tribe of Niyamgiri hills close to the refinery," Das said. The mine would end the tribe's way of life forever, by polluting the streams, cutting down the forests and destroying the mountain that it holds sacred, he said. Das welcomed the recommendations made by the Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee, which suggested utilising profits of the company for the welfare of the people of Kalahandi. However, the Vedanta group stated that it is a socially responsible company and firmly denied that its activities would have such a major effect on the people. The company sources claimed that modern mining methods would allow it to mine the bauxite without destroying the local environment.

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