India lauded for disallowing mining of “sacred” Niyamgiri Hill mountain range in Orissa

Indo-Americans have applauded India for reportedly rejecting bauxite
mining by multinational company in remote tribal area of Orissa, which
the environmentalists had described as devastating to the area
environment and tribes considered sacred.

Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA)
today, said that Government of India apparently took into
consideration the concerns of the tribes living in the area and issues
raised by environmentalists involved and it should be commended for
that.

Rajan Zed, who is the Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership
Confederation, pointed out that it seemed that issues like sacredness
of the mountain, disturbance of lifestyle and tradition of the tribes,
affect on ecosystems-water sources-wildlife-water
pollution-displacement-deforestation-endangered species, etc.,
outweighed the financial interests of the miner Vedanta.

Niyamgiri Hill range, where the bauxite extraction was planned, is
reportedly considered sacred by the Dongria Kondh tribe. Vedanta had
reportedly proposed a $2.7 billion investment in the area. Survival
International led the campaign against mining and parallelized the
plight of Dongria Kondh to the Na’vi tribe in blockbuster “Avatar”
(James Cameron). Celebrities like actress Joanna Lumley (Absolutely
Fabulous), activist  Bianca Jagger, BAFTA winner actor-comedian
Michael Palin (A Fish Called Wanda), etc., reportedly voiced against
the proposed mining project. Church of England reportedly sold its
shares in Vedanta in view of inconsistency with its investment policy.

Vedanta Resources, headquartered in London (United Kingdom), is a
diversified metals and mining group with wide-ranging interests in
aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, iron ore and commercial energy, whose
principal operations are in India, Zambia and Australia. Anil Agarwal
is Executive Chairman. Survival International, founded in 1969 and
also headquartered in London, is international organization with
supporters in 82 countries, working for tribal peoples’ rights through
education, advocacy and campaigns. Stephen Corry is Director.