The tribal men and women of Niyamgiri spread over Kalahandi and Rayagada districts of Odisha have rejected the proposal for mining of Niyamgiri hills to extract bauxite for the alumina refinery f Vedanta Aluminium Limited.
Taking a similar stand that was taken by the residents of Serkapadi village on July 18, the residents of Kesarpadi in Rayagada district adopted a resolution on Monday strongly opposing the proposed joint bauxite mining project of Odisha government’s Odisha Mining Corporation and Vedanta Aluminium Limited.
The Palli Sabha at Kesarpadi passed a resolution rejecting the joint verification report fraudulently filed by officials and resolved their claim over the entire Niyamgiri hill range and rejected the mining project.The State government has announced to facilitate Palli Sabha meetings in only 12 villages in Kalahandi and Rayagada and Kesarpadi was the second village where the Palli Sabha was held on Monday.
The tribals of Niyamgiri, who have come together under the banner of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti have opposed the government’s decision and demanded that Palli Sabha should be conducted in all the 112 villages in the Niyamgiri area as per the Supreme Court order.
The tribals are agitated that the State government has been favouring the company instead of hearing them for the past several years.They have been maintaining that they would save Niyamgiri at any cost.
The tribals worship Niyamgiri as Niyamraja and the hill range was also their main source of livelihood.A large number of streams will go dry if Niyamgiri was mined, the tribals have been saying since long.
The third Palli Sabha is being held in a village of Dongaria tribal people in Kalahandi district today.