Vedanta's bauxite mining project in Odisha's Niyamgiri Hills got stuck once again as the Supreme Court on Thursday asked it to go back to the gram sabha for the consideration of the tribals' religious and cultural aspects.
The apex court forest bench, headed by Justice Aftab Alam, said that the gram sabha would look into the religious and cultural aspects of the (Dongaria Kondh) tribals in the region in three months' time and take a decision.
Thereafter, Vedanta will go to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) which will decide in two months' time on Phase 2 clearance.
The court's order came taking note of the tribals' worship on the hilltop of the Niyamgiri Hills.
The apex court verdict came on the Odisha Mining Corporation and Vedanta's plea against the 2010 MoEF order withdrawing Phase 2 clearance on the grounds that the project work would violate conditions attached to an earlier clearance granted in 2008.