Vedanta Resources is a globally diversified natural
resources mining company with interests in Zinc,
Lead, Silver, Copper, Iron Ore, Aluminum, Power and
Oil & Gas
It is also developing commercial power stations in
India in Odisha and Punjab.
Lanjigarh, Odisha, public interest litigations were filed
in 2004 by Indian NGOs led by the People's Union for
Civil Liberties to the supreme court sub-committee
regarding the potential environmental impact of the
The company's operations in Niyamgiri Hills
in Odisha, India that are said to threaten the lives of
the Dongria Kondh people who populate this region.
Vedanta Alumina signed the joint venture agreement
with the ‘Orissa Mining Corporation’ (OMC) in 2003 for
developing bauxite mines at the Niyamgiri hill near
Lanjigarh for use in its one-million-tonne alumina
refinery being set up at a cost of Rs.4,000 crores.
The hill range is spread over 250 sq km and contains
bauxite reserves of about 70 million tones.
The plant got in production by taking all clearances in
The state opposition alleges that the company was yet
to obtain forest clearance for its project as per the
Forest Conservation Act, 1980.
The Environmental clearances revoked by ‘Ministry of
Environment and Forests’ (MOEF) and the case is
under jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India.
The Niyamgiri Movement:
In 1997, the then congress government agreed the hill top
plateau of Niyamgiri should be mined for Bauxite, and by
2001, the BJD government was ready to lease the area to
An official agreement signed on the 5th of October 2004
between the Odisha Mining Corporation
It is a home to more than 8000 adivasis of “Kutiya,
Dongrias and Jharniyas and Konds” who depends on the
hills for their entire livelihood.
Niyamgiri covers an area of 8000 sq.km and two rivers,
36 small streams originate and 602 types of Plants
(more than 300 species of Herbs and Medicines).
Niyamgiri project will directly affect 20 villages with a
population of about 10,000.
The Niyamgiri hills are also claimed to be an
important wildlife habitat in Eastern Ghats of India as
per a report by the Wildlife Institute of India.
In 2002 Lingaraz Azad, Raj Kishore, Kunuda, Prem,
Satya and Siddharth Naik went to explore the possibility
of starting a movement.
On 8th June 2003 Odisha CM laid the foundation The
agitators surrounded the villages and nobody was let
outside or inside, 10th June the foundation was broken.
3000 acres of Land have already been acquired by
Vedanta and five villages (Kinari, borbhatta, Kapagada,
Badugada and Kordiwar) have been forcefully evicted.
Oct 1, 2005- People’s tribunal committee had come to
Lanjigarh. They reported that mining should be stopped
18 June. 2008- Those that had given their land and were
supposed to get compensation but did not; got agitated and
closed down the company.
The environment minister Jairam Ramesh had withdrawn the
license given to Vedanta even after Supreme Court granted the
mining with regard to the MOEF signed with Vedanta.
In January 2009, thousands of locals formed a human chain
around the hill in protest at the plans to start bauxite mining
in the area.
As per OMC agreement with Vedanta was limited only to
mining at Niyamagiri hills, which is sub judice currently.
Regarding supply of bauxite from other sources, it is the
look out of the government and Vedanta. It is unable to
supply the bauxite as there is no other mines available for
VAL pointed out that the MOU included supply of
additional bauxite apart from that lying in the Niyamgiri
mines. So it was incumbent on the state to arrange the
material from other sources. However, the state has not
made any attempt in this regard though it possessed more
than half of the country’s bauxite reserves.
Vedanta set up one-million-tonne alumina refinery at a cost
of Rs.4,000 crores near Lanjigarh as per the MoU signed by
Vedanta and state government. Nearly 7000 people are
employed in this project.
In this project 121 families were physically displaced. These
have all been resettled in the Niyamgiri Vedanta Nagar
Resettlement Colony, with 76 family members being
employed with the company as permanent employees.
Vedanta is involved in various CSR activities in nearby
villages of Lanjigarh
The supreme court of india in 2007 stated that If Sterlite
Industries (India) Ltd. (SIIL) is agreeable to the a fore
stated Rehabilitation Package then they shall be at liberty
to move this Court by initiating a proper application. This
Court is not against the Project in principle. It only seeks
safeguards by which we are able to protect nature and sub
serve” development”. This in accordance with The Indian
Forest Act, 1927 and The Companies Act, 1956.
As per the CEC report The Supreme Court of India
instructed Vedanta Aluminium Limited to stop its
expansion on the ground that it has not fulfilled the
environmental clearances in 2011. This is in accordance of
violation of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
n 2008, the Supreme Court gave clearance to phase-II
of Vedanta's mining project at Niyamgiri. But in
August 2010,the Ministry of Environment and Forests
withdrew the clearance.
On 18th April 2013, the Supreme Court had empowered
the village councils to decide on the project in order to
protect their customary and religious rights. The
rejection of Vedanta’s proposal to dig in the Niyamgiri
hills came after 12 village councils of Dongriya Kondh
tribal groups rejected the project in their traditional