Opposition expresses concern over land for Vedanta Varsity

December 3, 2009 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The voice raised in the Rajya Sabha on the issue of giving thorium-rich land to Vedanta Group to set up a world class university on the Puri-Konark marine drive was echoed on the floor of the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

In response to a question of Rajya Sabha member Rudra Narayan Pany, Union Minister Prithviraj Chavan on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 26 stated that Atomic Mineral Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has identified 1.82 million tones of thorium bearing monazite resources in the land given to Vedanta. Thorium is a fertile element and can be converted to fissile element to produce atomic energy in the 3rd stage of the nuclear power programme of India, he said.

Raising the issue on the floor of the State Assembly during the Zero Hour, senior Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja said after the issue of thorium came to light; the land allotted to Vedanta has become a cause of concern. “If the enriched thorium goes out side the country and utilise for atomic purpose, it would send an alarm bell for India. Around 10.80 lakh metric tonne of thorium is deposited in these lands. If thorium is taken out from the land, the level of the sea would go up and the entire Puri town would be submerged under sea,” Saluja warned.

Demanding the scraping of the deal, Saluja said the Government should take steps to take away the land from Vedanta. NCP member Amar Satpathy also expressed his contention on the issue. “The Centre should conduct a survey on this issue. Whether the land allotted to Vedanta has been surveyed by the IBM or not,” Satpathy said, adding that the Government should make a statement on the issue.

On the other hand, Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said no one should be worried about it. “Vedanta has given the surface right only to use the land. If any mineral is found in the land, the land would ultimately go to the Centre as per the provision of the Constitution,” he said.

Entry filed under: Universities, Vedanta University.

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