Bookmark and Share

Vedanta and Provincial Orissa Government accused of colluding to trample over Tribal and Environmental Laws by Govt Panel

1 Comment

Vedanta Resources the LSE listed Minings Conglomerate and the state government of Orissa have been accused by a central government inquiry panel of collusion in trampling over Tribal and Environmental Laws.Note Vedanta Resources has found itself in the centre of controversy over mining bauxite in Niyamgiri Hills which are held sacred by the Dongria Kondh tribal group.With powerful political and bureacratic patrons,Vedanta has managed to ride roughshod over Tribal Rights.The Norwegian Sovereign Fund had earlier publicly sold all its share in Vedanta along with some other funds over Tribal Abuses by Vedanta.Now a Central Government Panel has indicted both the state government and Vedanta of environmental abuses in its earlier projects.The N.C. Saxena panel has found the state government officials guilty of violating Forest Rights Act in order to help Vedanta.While rejected Vedanta’s Bauxite Mining Rights,the Panel has found the company guilty of mining on government land,violating environmental laws and tribal rights

Vedanta project: panel blames Orissa officials – Hindu

The N.C. Saxena panel, which has asked the Centre not to clear Vedanta’s bauxite mining project in Orissa, is scathing about the “collusion” of the State and district administrations, blaming them for deliberate non-implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) in the region.

These Acts insist that the consent of forest dwelling tribal communities and bodies such as gram sabhas must be obtained before any clearance is given to divert forest land for a project.

“The district administration’s reluctance to comply with the legal mandates of the FRA was clearly evident; and the Orissa State Administration has not acted to correct this reluctance,” said a report submitted on Monday by the four-member panel led by Planning Commission member Mr. Saxena.

Illegal Mining a Huge Unresolved Problem in India

Illegal Mining has become a massive headache in India.With rising metal prices,Illegal Mining has become a lucrative trade giving rise to Mining Barons who hold  state governments to their ransom.These Mining Barons wield huge political and money power,the most famous case being the Bellary barons Reddy Brothers in Karntaka.The Karnataka state whose capital Bangalore is regarded as the Silicon Valley of India has the dubious distinction of having these illegal miners as Ministers in the State Government.Having accrued a massive amount of illegal wealth,they have bought themselves Ministerial positions in the Karnataka state government.The  Indian state is quite powerless against the blatant corruption and power of these Mining Barons.Other Industrial Groups in India are also facing protests and agitations against their naked grab for wealth in India’s booming economy.Firings by bought over state police has resulted in killings by groups protesting against coal power plants.

Can’t allow corrupt ministers, illegal mining: Karnataka governor – India Today

Pressure on the Karnataka government to act against illegal mining is building. State Governor H.R. Bharadwaj, who was in Delhi on Tuesday to meet President Pratibha Patil, said that corrupt ministers in the B.S. Yeddyurappa cabinet must not continue.

“You can’t have corruption. Nobody can be given the licence to do corruption,” said Bharadwaj without naming the Reddy brothers, who are accused of illegal mining in Bellary.

Mining frenzy- Frontline

Opposition politicians and the local media in Bellary accuse mine owners of encroaching on thousands of acres of forest land outside the limits of their own mines. Thirty mines were closed in late March for violating caps on iron ore production, just a fraction of the mines that engage in the practice, according to Gangaram Baderiya, Karnataka Commissioner of Mines. In a letter to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy recently, Minister of Forests C. Chennigappa, accused MSPL, one of the largest mining companies in Hospet, of illegally mining 157 acres beyond its lease, according to press reports. He alleged that illegal mining as a whole had cost the state Rs.25,000 crores in lost revenues.

The most pervasive environmental threat comes from mining dust, a suffocating rust-coloured cloud of debris that coats everything in and around the mining triangle. According to the NEERI report, this dust is responsible for “public health problems, reduction of agricultural productivity and has its impact on wildlife”. Dr. B. Manjunath, a local physician, says the dust has produced a “significant rise” in bronchitis and other respiratory infections and is also responsible for a staggering incidence of eye problems, chiefly conjunctivitis. “If you live in Hopset and travel by bicycle or motorbike, you will get it,” he says. Dust also contributes to the appalling labour conditions endured by tens of thousands of informal workers, many of them children.

Anti-mining activists often speak of a “mining mafia” comprising mine owners, politicians and law enforcement officials, united in a desire to keeping the profits flowing. While they have so far failed to tie politicians to mining, they insist that such a collusion best explains why, for example, so many officials in the government continue to deny the existence of encroachment, and why environmental and labour regulations have gone largely un-enforced.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!