Odisha Wants to Revive Niyamgiri Mining Plan: Minister

Odisha Govt is once again planning to revive its proposed mining project at Niyamgiri Hills.

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The Odisha government is contemplating to revive its proposed mining project at Niyamgiri Hills and hold Gram Sabha in the area again, state government officials said.

We are taking legal opinion to revive the mining plan at Niyamgiri. Since the Supreme Court had ordered for holding Gram Sabha in Niyamgiri Hills area, we may move the apex court seeking its permission to organise Gram Sabha again

Prafulla Kumar Mallick, Minister of Steel and Mines, Government of Odisha

Mallick said the state government was yet to take a decision whether to directly approach the Supreme Court or move the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to revive its bauxite mining plan.

The state government wants that the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation undertake the Bauxite mining at Niyamgiri and supply the ore to the needy aluminium industries, Mallick said.


The Niyamgiri Hills have about 75 million tonnes reserves of high grade Bauxite.

The mining plan at the eco-sensitive Niyamgiri Hills spread over Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, was scrapped two years ago after all 12 Gram Sabhas voted unanimously against the project.

The Gram Sabha, held as per the direction of the Supreme Court, was held between July 19 and August 20, 2013.

Odisha Govt is once again planning to revive its proposed mining project at Niyamgiri Hills.
Members of the Dongria Kondh tribe stand behind the head of a goat sacrificed on top of the Niyamgiri mountain, which they worship as their living god, to protest against plans by Vedanta Resources to mine bauxite. (Photo: Reuters)

The people gave their opinion on whether mining activities in Niyamgiri would affect the religious, community and individual rights of local forest dwellers.

The state government was of the opinion that the proposed mining project was in joint venture when the Gram Sabhas, which rejected the earlier proposal.

Meanwhile, the state has since cancelled a JV agreement with Vedanta and decided mining would be done only by the OMC.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Topics:  Vedanta Resources   odisha   Mining 

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