Indo-Americans laud India for disallowing mining of “sacred” mountain in Orissa

Indo-Americans have applauded India for reportedly rejecting bauxite mining by a multinational company in a 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), 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 the Indo-American Leadership Confederation, pointed out that it seemed that issues like the 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 paralleled 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 an international organization with supporters in 82 countries, working for tribal peoples’ rights through education, advocacy and campaigns. Stephen Corry is Director.


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