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May 7, 2016

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar: Supreme Court’s dismissal of a petition filed by State Government-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), challenging the decision of 12 gram sabhas to refuse permission to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri has come as a huge relief for the Dongria Kondh tribal people living in the hills spread over Kalahandi and Rayagada districts.A Supreme Court Bench on Friday said that that local gram sabhas can’t be reconvened to take a re-look at whether mining in the locality would tantamount to infringement of the religious, community and individual rights of local forest-dwellers.NiyamgiriRefusing to entertain the petition, the Bench said that OMC could approach appropriate forums against the decision of the gram sabhas.The gram sabhas that were held in 12 villages in 2013 had rejected the mining proposal of a joint venture between OMC and Vedanta on grounds that the hills were sacred to the tribal people of the region.Earlier, the apex court had refused to entertain the OMC’s plea and had asked it to amend the application by making all the stakeholders as parties.After the 12 gram sabhas rejected the joint initiative of OMC and Vedanta to extract bauxite from Niyamgiri hills, the Union Ministry of Environment had rejected forest clearance for the mining project.

May 7, 2016 0 Comment

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