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Vedanta decision this week

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2010 00:20 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The environment ministry will decide this week whether Vedanta Resources will be allowed to run its aluminum refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa, or not, by end of this week.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh in August had cancelled environment clearance of Orissa Mining Corporation, which was supposed to provide bauxite for the Vedanta refinery.

"The final decision will be taken in couple of days," he told HT.

The ministry had issued a show cause notice for cancelling environment clearance to the firm's aluminum refinery in Kalahandi district, Orissa on August 31 following a report by N C Saxena committee.

The panel had found the company guilty of environment violations on several counts including starting expansion work without taking ministry's prior approval.

The firm filed a reply to the notice and the Saxena committee report in first week of September claiming it had not committed any violations. On expansion, it had said that ministry's permission was not required under the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) guidelines of 2006.

After examining the firm's reply last week, the ministry has found evidence of alleged environment violations and refused to give Vedanta a clean chit.

The ministry, in its view to Ramesh, has reportedly said that six-fold expansion was, indeed, a violation, as it would mean additional "environmental burden". Moreover, the firm had not done any environment impact assessment for the expansion of its refinery.

The ministry has also pointed out specific environment clearance conditions that the company had failed to meet.

Sources, however, refused to be specific saying that the entire report will be made public once Ramesh takes a final call on company's future in Lanjigarh.

The ministry sources did not rule out the possibility of withdrawing environment clearance for the plant issued following a Supreme Court order.

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