SC denies Vedanta Ltd mining permission in Kalahandi, Orissa

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) The Supreme Court today declined permission to Vedanta Limited for bauxite mining in Lanjigarh area of district Kalahandi in Orissa.

A bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, Justices Arijit Pasayat and SH Kapadia noted ''we are not inclined to approve of the project in the present form and also in view of the track record of Vedanta Ltd which has been blacklisted by Norway.'' The bench, in its judgement, also observed that the company had not revealed in its affidavit how many people would be absorbed by the company if permitted to go ahead with the mining of bauxite mines spread over 630 hectares of forest land in Niyamgiri Hills.

Vedanta Ltd in a joint venture with Sterlite Industries also proposed to set up alumina refinery with an investment of 800 million dollars and had promised to invest 1.12 billion dollars.

The apex court, while dismissing the application, also took note of the fact that Vedanta Ltd was not a subsidiary of Sterlite Industries but was an associate company and hence was free to withdraw from the venture whenever it felt like.

The court also took note of the fact that the company has been blacklisted by Norway for violating labour laws there. The apex court, however, said that it was prepared to consider the application of Sterilite Industries for bauxite mining subject to the conditions laid down by the apex court including depositing 5 per cent of total profit with Orissa government and also providing details of the jobs to chose losing the land and the poor tribals of the area as sustainable development cannot be permitted at the cost of livelihood of the affected people.

The court also noted that while considering the aspect of damage to the environment of the area there were a large number of people living in abject poverty whose interests had to be safeguarded.

UNI

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