Desperate villagers in Orissa stage anti-mining protest

August 13th, 2008 - 5:02 am ICT by ANI  

Gandhmardhan (Orissa), August 12 (ANI): Desperate villagers in the famous Gandhmardhan hills of Orissa protested to prevent mining in the area by London based Vedanta Group who got the green signal from the Supreme Court to go ahead with its 800 million dollars project to mine bauxite from the area.

About 500 people living in the foothills of Gandhmardhan hill staged a protest against mining in the hills by offering water to Lord Shiva on Tuesday.

The activists of Gandhmardhan Suraksha Yuva Parishad fear that the opencast mine would wreck the rich biodiversity of the hills and disrupt key water sources that supply springs and streams in the area and feed two rivers, which irrigate a large area of farmlands.

The activists believe that nothing can deter them from stopping Vedanta to set up the mine.

“This is a war of the people, said Pradeep Kumar Purohit, Advisor Gandhmardhan Suraksha Samiti.

Purohit also said that they would not allow any company to enter the area.

But, both the state and the central government back the mining project by the Vedanta Group, as efforts to industrialise and exploit the mineral resources of Orissa.

Earlier also, demonstrations were held when Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) tried to take the lease for bauxite mining in the region. (ANI)

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