Orissa moves SC against denial of green nod to Vedanta mining project

April 1st, 2011 - 5:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhubaneswar, Apr 1 (ANI): The Orissa Government today approached the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision to reject environmental clearance to the Vedanta bauxite mining project in Niyamgiri Hills.

Challenging the Environment Ministry’s order of August 24, 2010, the state government filed an application through Orissa Mining Corporation, contending that the Centre’s decision was in violation of the apex court’s previous order giving a green signal to the project.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal contended that the order was illegal, arbitrary and in violation of the apex court’s direction.

A bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam agreed to hear the plea and also suggested that the state government and the mining corporation may file a contempt petition against the Centre if they thought that the Supreme Court’s order had been violated.

The Environment Ministry had on August 24, 2010 rejected the plans of mining group Vedanta Resources Plc to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying that it violated forest laws.

The Environment Ministry’s decision came after a government panel said that giving permission to Vedanta would violate green guidelines, and may have a serious impact on security, in a reference to worsening Maoist insurgency that feeds partly off the resentment of people displaced by large industrial projects.

Vedanta, on its part, had said that no one would be displaced as the mining site is located in an uninhabited area, and the project would economically aid the poor district.

The committee, which was set up by the Ministry of Environment early in 2010 to investigate the alleged violations of environmental laws by Vedanta Plc, also accused the company of illegally occupying the forestland for the 1.7 billion dollars project. (ANI)

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