Posts filed under ‘Kalahandi-Nuapada’

Tribal faith vs Vedanta might in Kalahandi: A report from The Economic Times

Following is the complete report:

LANJIGARH/BHAWANIPATNA: Kalahandi has always captured the national imagination, but never for the right reasons. Recurring poverty deaths and reports about entire communities surviving on mango kernels defined this predominantly tribal district in southern Orissa for decades.

So when the London-listed, Indian-run miner Vedanta Plc announced plans in 2002 to set up a Rs 4,000-crore bauxite refinery and bauxite mining project in the district’s Niyamgiri hills, there was a feeling in New Delhi and Bhubaneswar that Kalahandi was finally climbing on to the development bandwagon.

“A big company was coming to Kalahandi… It would make the district into something like Kolkata or Mumbai. That’s how we felt then,” said local journalist Mahamad Ashlam.

Eight years on, Ashlam is a disappointed man. It is a feeling shared by Kalahandi’s elected representatives, people living near the refinery, the local middle class and the business community. The company, too, says it is disappointed because the refinery can break even only if the state government acts on its promise to let it mine in the bauxite-rich Niyam Dongar mountain.

Vedanta wants the flat-top mountain massif, the best-forested in the Niyamgiri hill range, but the local Dongria Kondh tribals say it is the abode of their god Niyam Raja. The surreal fight between the $12.3-billion mining firm and tribals facing extinction has already drawn parallels with James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar.

The David-versus-Goliath battle has drawn in a variety of actors—from tribals to environmentalists to politicians to non-government organisations. Even the Church of England waded into the controversy, selling its stake in the company last February to protest the company’s allegedly poor human rights record.

The battle is being fought against the backdrop of raging Maoist violence in tribal areas across several Indian states, which means a decision on whether to let the company mine the Niyam Dongar will not be an easy one.

The government, increasingly having to reckon with deep disenchantment felt by several tribal communities about the country’s industrialisation agenda, will be forced to confront the issue soon. The environment ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee, which advises the government on whether forestland should be diverted for non-forest use, will meet on April 16, after which it will submit its recommendations to the ministry to take the final call.

As D-day approaches, it is instructive to know just how Vedanta got here. To understand that question, and to make sense of the claims and counterclaims made by the company and the local community, ET traveled to Kalahandi last month.

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April 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

Vedanta hopes to get bauxite from Lanjigarh of Kalahandi

January 21, 2010 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Amenities available in the city like Bhubaneswar should reach Kalahandi:APJ Abdul Kalam

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

In the wake of the visit of APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday, thousands of people including schoolchildren and their teachers gathered at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here to have a glimpse of the former President

Kalam reached the Police Ground here by a helicopter at around 3.50 pm. First of all he inaugurated the Primary teachers’ Bhawan and then inaugurated the 3rd Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010.

Addressing a huge gathering, he said, “I am happy to here on the Kalahandi festival day. I am delighted to participate in the inaugural ceremony on 3rd day of Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010. I am indeed delighted to inaugurate the Primary Teachers Bhawan.”

“I would like to greet the District Collector RS Gopalan, Minister of Labour and Employment Pushpendu Singhdeo, SP Sudha Singh, former MLA Pradipta Naik, organisers of the utsav and all the schoolchildren, teachers and parents who have come here,” said the former President.

Kalam also interacted with the students and answered briefly to their questions. He said I am going to give you (students) an equation. Knowledge is equal to creativity plus righteousness in the heart and spread courage.

Kalam advised the organisers to launch a new project every year during Kalahandi Utsav, which will boost economic development, improve employment potential in the district. He also said the amenities available in the city like Bhubaneswar should also reach Kalahandi.

January 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Vedanta company is committed for the development of Kalahandi

Following is a report from The Statesman:

Responding to the call for increased focus and effort on overall development of Kalahandi district, Mr Ajit Kumar Samal, senior vice president of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd said the company was committed to such activity in its area of operations.

Recently, a citizen’s forum had organised a meeting on mining of Niyamgiri hills by Vedanta company. Congress MP, Mr Bhakta Charan Das, a strong opponent of the project had addressed the gathering alongwith several other eminent personalities and activists. Significantly, the meeting dealt with several demands including a comprehensive development plan for the district which, they said, ought to be implemented by VAL. The forum desired that Vedanta should undertake a comprehensive development plan in the underdeveloped district ok Kalahandi as well as in the peripheral villages in the Lanjigarh project area.

On being asked about this, Vedanta Aluminium’s senior vice president, Mr Ajit Kumar Samal said: “Vedanta reiterates commitment to the development of the area with particular emphasis on the welfare of local tribes. This will be evident from a number of CSR initiatives that the company has undertaken in the field of healthcare, education and livelihood. Vedanta respects the views of the local forum and is happy to discuss with the forum on the specific development needs of the area.”

November 2, 2009 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

World Bank grant for various road viz. Bhawanipatna-Kahariar, Sambalpur-Rourkela and others may return

Following report is from The Samaja:20091030a_007101001

October 31, 2009 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Vedanta Should Establish a Multidisciplinary University in Kalahandi: A Report from Dharitri

Following is a report from Dharitri:

Vedanta-Dharitri-BBSR-29102009

October 30, 2009 at 8:43 am 1 comment

Samruddha Odisha proposed for Establishing Vedanta University in Western Odisha

Following is a report from orissadiary.com:

President of the Samruddha Orissa  Dr Jatish Mohanty has proposed the state government to set up the Vedanta University in some parts of the Western Orissa region instead of Puri-Konark marine drive.

As Vedanta is setting up of the plant in western Orissa and the mines are also located in the region the university should be set up there . He said that the sea-beach land which is meant for tourism based industries should not be given for the university.

He demanded that before giving land to the university, the opinion of the people of the State should be taken into consideration.

If tourism based industries are set up on the sea-beach, lakhs of job opportunities can be created and if the state government does not take any pro-active step regarding it his party would launch an agitation soon .

 

October 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

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