Vedanta violated environment norms: Jairam Ramesh

November 28, 2009 at 8:34 am Leave a comment

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The Centre has instituted a probe into the allegations of illegal bauxite mining by Vedanta on behalf of the Odisha Mining Corporation at Niyamgiri forests in Kalahandi.

“A Central team will visit the site to verify allegations of violations of the terms of the ‘in-principle’ approval under Forest Conservation Act, 1980 by the project proponent,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in a statement in New Delhi on Friday. The team will submit its report to him within a week.

Ramesh noted that the ‘in-principle’ approval given to the project on December 11, 2005 under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 could be converted to a final approval only after the stipulations contained in it were met.

However, NGOs alleged that Vedanta on behalf of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) had already started activities without getting the final approval. “The total amount of forest land proposed to be diverted is 660.749 hectares of which around 353.14 hectares is in the Niyamgiri reserved forest. Concerns have also been raised on the impact that this project will, inter alia, have on the livelihood of tribal communities,” Ramesh said.

“Technically this (construction) is not a violation of the law, but it is a violation of the Ministry’s guidelines, which stipulates that when a project involves non-forest and forest land, construction in the non-forest land should not begin without clearance for activity in the forest land itself,” the Minister observed.

Incidentally, the Odisha Government is yet to reply to the Ministry, which had sought an explanation as to how the violations of the norms were permitted. Ramesh made it clear that the previous concept of ‘in-principle’ approval was done away with and that projects were now exclusively examined for either approval or rejection

Similar things are also reported in http://www.orissasambad.com/:

Entry filed under: Industries and mineral resources, Vedanta.

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