Posts filed under ‘Vedanta Kalahandi University’

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.

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

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

Kalahandi Vedanta Varsity demanded

Following is a report from Tathya.in

All the Policy Makers in Government very well know that Orissa’s overall development revolved round the growth of Kalahandi-Koraput-Balangir-Kandhamal (KBKK). Unless these most backward areas of the state achieve accelerated growth, Orissa will never become a Developed State, they know.

However till date Policy Makers and Administrators have been neglecting these areas little understanding that their move to develop the state will be a futile exercise unless KBKK develops. Take the case of Kalahandi, poorest region of the state, where Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) is investing Rs.4000 crore in alumina complex.

But what about the social infrastructure like health and education, which will go a long way really to develop the area. Justifying the issue, leading Non Resident Oriya (NRO) Sanjeeb Kumar Karmee has outlined the agenda for VAL to develop the area by setting up a Multidisciplinary University in Kalahandi.

Establishment of such an educational institute in Kalahandi area will change the socio-economic scenario of this underdeveloped area and neighbouring districts by providing a boost to the human resource and economy of the district and other tribal dominated districts, said Dr.Karmee, who teaches in Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Aluminium Major, Vedanta along with the state/central government should transform this tribal dominated undeveloped Kalahandi region to a major educational and economic hub of India, said he.

Furthermore, location of Kalahandi is ideal for such a University. It is the central district in KBK and central point for KBKK + Gajapati + Bargarh (The tribal and backward regions in Southern and Western Orissa).

This location strongly suggests that a multidisciplinary world class University in Kalahandi region will have a huge impact in both South as well as Western Orissa; which are educationally and economically backward place in our country.

Simultaneously, it will help thousands of displaced people (tribals and landless persons) to have access to higher education. In that way, they will realize their dream of becoming a manager or job holders in companies like Vedanta.

Not only that, these noble steps of Vedanta will inspire many other companies in the state to take similar initiative. In addition, Vedanta will fulfil an important concept related to “human value”; that is, industrialization, development of the region and displacement of tribal community should take place in one go.

This way Vedanta will be able to win the trust not only of local people but also thousands of poor who are displaced will enjoy the real development.

October 18, 2009 at 7:01 am 1 comment

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