Odisha News Insight

Dangaria, Jharania tribals protest Vedanta’s Operation at Lanjigarh

Dangaria, Jharania tribals protest Vedanta's Operation at LanjigarhRayagada, October 19: While a group of people are rallying around the chieftains of Vedanta Alumina Refinery at Lanjigarh and the power corridors at Bhubaneswar including the Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik, thousands of Dangaria and Jharania tribals of Niyamagiri hills, which bear the bauxite ore to be used for the alumina refinery, had a rally from Lanjigarh village to the main gate of the Vedanta Company to put lock at the main gate.

According to the Dangaria tribal leader Sri Lada Sikaka, who led the massive rally on last Saturday, the company should have wound up immediately after the tribals gave their verdict during gram sabhas initiated under the instruction of Supreme Court of India. “Instead it continues through nasty tactics and various acts of coercion. We have assembled here to put lock at the main gate and tell the authorities to cease work. The company can not mine in Niyamagiri hills at the cost of thousands of lives of Adivasis and their livelihood”, said Lada. Tribal members of Khandualmali Surakhya Samiti and activist Lingaraj Azad also addressed the rally. The rally was peaceful and demanded total closure of the refinery.

Dangaria, Jharania tribals protest Vedanta's Operation at Lanjigarh1A few days back when a group of Company supporters including project affected persons (PAPs) met VEDANTA CEO and requested him to continue the operation including its CSR activities in health, education, livelihood, etc.. They also wrote to Naveen Pattanaik to supply bauxite ore from alternative sources as the closure will directly and indirectly affect around 10000 families around the plant at Lanjigarh. The refinery plant was making a loss of Rs. 3 crores a day and might be closed if alternative sources of mining were not explored, said VEDANTA CEO.

Recent meetings by the Collector along with top district officials and KBK administrators with the Dangaria tribals have not yielded any results as the Govt is yet to establish confidence among the tribals. On the other hand the Dangarias still think that the Govt has sheer vested interests in organising these kinds of meetings.

“The PAPs, local community leaders, people’s representatives must have a direct & series of dialogues with the VEDANTA authorities at higher echelon & leaders of Niyamagiri Surakhya Samiti instead of shadow wars. Protest rallies by Dangaria tribal people and advocacy by company supporters, till now, have not made any headway. The district administration must bell the cat”, said a local denizen maintaining anonymity.

Leave a comment