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Environment ministry committee to discuss mining projects report

By Abdul Nisar

New Delhi, Aug 20 (ANI): The Environment Ministry's Forest Advisory Committee will meet today to discuss recommendations of the N C Saxena panel report that seeks a ban on the mining projects of UK-based Vedanta Resources in Orissa.

The committee will be submit its recommendations to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, after which a final decision will be taken.

"After FAC makes its observations, I will take a decision in totality, taking into account the various laws, economic consideration. Only then will final clearance be given to the mining project," Ramesh had said.

The Saxena panel had found serious violations in the provisions of environmental clearance and the Environment Protection Act by Vedanta.

One such violation related to the unauthorised expansion of capacity from one million tonne a year to six million tons.

The expansion had no environment clearance and Vedanta is said to have ignored repeated notices sent by the Orissa Pollution Control Board to stop work.

Set up by the Environment Ministry early this year, the committee, which investigated alleged violations of environmental laws by Vedanta, also accused the company of illegally occupying forest land for its USD 1.7 billion project. (ANI)

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