Ramesh takes on SC over Vedanta
After having locked horns with the Orissa government on the Vedanta mining project, Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh has now taken a dig at the Supreme Court over the issue, reports Chetan Chauhan.delhi Updated: Mar 21, 2010 01:31 IST
After having locked horns with the Orissa government on the Vedanta mining project, Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh has now taken a dig at the Supreme Court over the issue.
He said it was only in the case of Vedanta that the Supreme Court overruled its own body — the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) on environmental issues.
The Apex court in 2008 had approved UK-based Vedanta Resources alumina factory despite protests saying the company has invested a huge amount for the project.
“To my mind, there does not appear to be any other case where the court had overruled the CEC report,” the minister said on Saturday. Elaborating on his statement, the minister said he was just putting forth the “factual position”.
Vedanta had claimed its factory was environment-friendly as it has had been cleared by the Supreme Court.
Ramesh had earlier said that the project has violated its forest clearance norms and had issued a show-cause notice to the Orissa government for allowing the violations in January 2010.
A team constituted by him to conduct a site inspection to look into the impact of the project on tribals and environment violations submitted its report on March 12 reporting violations and adverse impact on the locals.
“Even the District Collector of Kalahandi admitted violations of the Forest Conservation Act,” the report, which also quoted tribals as saying they were facing adverse health impact, said.
The Orissa government refuted violations in a letter written on March 11, a day before the ministry released the report.
With the ball now in the ministry’s court, Ramesh, says the government will take a view on Orissa’s stand soon.