Posts filed under ‘Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), Lanjigarh’

Pollution levels alarming in industrial areas of Sundargarh,Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Hirakhud and Kalahandi

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The State Government which is giving lot of stress on industrialisation has perhaps forgotten the importance of the environment and its protection. As a result, pollution in the State has reached alarming levels.

Reports are pouring out on rampant illegal mining in forest land at many places in the State. The mining carried out by the companies and rapid loss of forest cover has further aggravated the situation. The situation in 16 mining and 12 industrial areas is disturbing. This has been stated in the report of Society of Geo Scientists and Allied Technologists submitted to the State Government.

The areas which are worst-affected are Keonjhar and Sundargarh’s iron ore and manganese mining areas, Talcher and Angul’s coal mining areas, the mining areas in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and IB Valley, and the limestone mining area near Hirakhud. Besides, the chromite mining areas in Sukinda, Daitari iron mining area and Koraput, Rayagada and Kalahandi’s graphite, bauxite, manganese and iron ore mining areas have turned into a blast furnace, the report said.

Besides, the industrial areas of Rourkela- Rajgangpur, Jharsuguda, Chowduar-Athagarh, Balasore-Bhadrak, Dhamra, Chandikhole-Duburi, Paradip, Khurda-Tapang and Joda-Barbil have been seriously affected. Thus, keeping the local situation in mind an environmental plan is immediately needed to save the State from any disastrous effects, said the report. Besides the air and water pollution, the ground water has also been polluted.

Even as the farmers are protesting to give water for industrialisation, water shortage for irrigation purposes has cropped up. But the Government has remained a mute spectator and the measures taken up by Odisha State Pollution Control Board have been inadequate. The report urged the Government before setting up any industry or giving mining lease should consider the effects on the environment.

December 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm 2 comments

No violation by Vedanta at Niyamgiri: Odisha government

Following is a report from business-standard.com:

The Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), part of Vedanta Resources, has not violated any forest and environment norms at its alumina refinery and bauxite mining site in Kalahandi district of Orissa, according to a report of the state government. While the refinery is at the foothill of Niyamgiri hills, the proposed mining site is at the top of the hill, 7 to 10 km away.

Allegations were that the company had initiated construction work for mining of bauxite though the mining site was yet to get the statutory clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

“There is no construction beyond the project area of the alumina refinery which was allotted to the company by the government in 2004 and it is not unlawful”, said a senior official of the state forest and environment department quoting the report of district collector of Kalahandi who was asked to probe into the matter.

The MoEF had asked the state government to explain why the controversial bauxite mining project by Vedanta had been allowed to start work in violation of the ministry guidelines.

This followed a statement by Union minister Jairam Ramesh last week that a probe had found construction work had started on land that belonged to the revenue department.

After the clean chit given to the company in the district collector’s report, all eyes are on the next move of the state government. Sources said, the government will send its views on the matter to the Centre only after the chief minister vets it. But with chief minister Naveen Patnaik now on a tour to Delhi and the state assembly in session, this may take few days.

The Anil Agarwal owned Sterlite Industries India Ltd (SIIL) and the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) of the Orissa government have already formed a joint venture company under the banner of South-West Orissa Bauxite Mining Private Ltd for mining bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills. While the leaseholder has got stage-I forest clearance from MoEF, the stage-II clearance is awaited.

Last week, steel and mines secretary, Ashok Dalwai, had asked the district authorities of Kalahandi to probe the alleged violations forest norms by Vedanta after the Central government sought explanation from the state.

Sources said, VAL has set up a 1 million tonne refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district. The company was given 2041 acres of land for the proposed refinery.

December 3, 2009 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

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