Eight tribal organisations from Kalahandi and Rayagada districts have submitted a writ petition to the Orissa High Court against the recent stalling of expansion of refinery project of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) at Lanjiarh in Kalahandi.
In their petition, the tribal organisations have said that the VAL’s refinery at the foothill of Niyamgiri hill at Lanjigarh has transformed the lives of locals for the better with its employment, health and education initiatives. They said the expansion would usher in all-round development.
London-listed Vedanta Group had signed an MoU with the Orissa government in 2004 to set up an Rs.4500 crore, 1-million-tonne alumina refinery at Lanjigarh and mine Niyamgiri for bauxite. It later proposed to expand the refinery’s capacity to 6-million-tonne.
The Dangria Kondh tribals have been opposing the plant since it was set up on the round of pollution and loss of livelihood.
The Union ministry for environment and forest recently rejected the minin and expansion proposals.