Sunday, February 14, 2010

Odisha tribals suffer Human Rights Violence by Vedanta

The Amnesty International’s (AI) recent report on the London-based Vedanta  group’s aluminium refinery and bauxite mining project at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district has once again prompted the local tribals. 
The Dongria Kondhs, who have inhabited the Niyamgiri Hills for centuries consider the environmentally sensitive Hills to be their “Living God” and are up in arms against the mining project and tell “We may die but we will not allow the destruction of our Niyamgiri Hills.”
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd’s alumina refinery has led to water and air pollution, seriously undermining the quality of life and threatening the health of nearby communities.
The 8,000 strong community, mainly ‘adivasis’ (tribals) in Odisha’s Lanjigarh suffered violations of human rights to water and health, due to pollution by Vedanta’s aluminium refinery.
The refinery project has already led to health problems like skin and respiratory diseases among the locals and these health hazards are expected to multiply once the bauxite mining begins in the hills, the tribals fear.
Around  4,000 people living near the refinery are facing serious health problems because “they are breathing polluted air and drinking water from a contaminated river, the Vamsadhara, that is one of their primary sources of water.”
The environmental pollution caused by the refinery’s fly ash and red mud ponds was reported by Business Standard .


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