Mining firms set up shop in Orissa


Lanjigarh block, Kalahandi, Orissa, May 17:

At its summit, the northeastern ridge of the Niyamgiri hill range has a bald patch, typical of hilltops with bauxite deposits. A dense tree cover that provides a welcome shade to climbers struggling some 8 km up the steep forest path gives way to a vast stretch of open grassland.

A full-grown leopard silently pads across the open expanse. Up here, all is at peace.
For now.

Down below, in Lanjigarh and in the faraway plains of Bhubaneswar and New Delhi, a battle is being fought over this hilltop. On one side are environmental, political and human rights activists and local people who wish to preserve this hill, its forests, and a way of life.

On the other, is a multi-million dollar company, Vedanta Resources Plc, powerful enough to bend rules, which wants to tear open the hilltop for what lies beneath, and a state government eager to hand over its mineral treasures to private companies. The final decision rests with the SupremeCourt. Stakes are high, on all sides.

Maureen Nandini Mitra
visited Lanjigarh to  understand the project, its promoters, its  proponents and opponents and what all this  holds for the environment and economy of  the country


 
 
NO UMPIRE
   Mining firms bending rules in Orissa


IS IT A FOREST?
   How different agencies see it


BIG IMPACT
   Mining will tax area’s natural resources


BENDING RULES
   How Vedanta’s refinery came up


THIN END OF WEDGE
   Why Vedanta’s success will be bad news

 

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