It is no hidden fact that the plans to mine bauxite in Niyamgiri in Orissa by Vedanta Resources have already been postponed by vehement protests from non-governmental organizations. And now it seems that it would be even delayed further, since the Congress party is now reaching out to India's tribal population, "sections of which have come under the influence of the grand old party's arch rival, the BJP, while others have fallen under the sway of Maoists."
It was forwarded by a top Congress leader that just convincing the central government that the project will add value greater than what it will take away will not be enough for the London-listed Vedanta Resources and it requires doing more than it.
The business plans of the Anil Agarwal owned company had become part of a larger narrative, as a substitute, since the Congress-led UPA government transforms its mining policy bringing it in line with the party's position on the environment and its mantra of inclusive growth.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, said, "The facts of the case are such that Vedanta shouldn't have been given clearance in the first instance."
Mr. Singh informed that the party is of the viewpoint that India's tribal communities also have the right to utilize resources in areas where they inhabit, a position spelt out by the Forest Rights Act, or FRA, a law passed by Parliament.
If adhered to a government-appointed committee, the FRA had not been established in areas where the bauxite project was coming up. FRA is most proffered legislation of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and a talisman of the party's commitment to the poorest of the poor. The committee had specified that till it was not implemented, the license should not be given.
The company informed that the Orissa government had compiled with the Act, and it ahs informed the Centre about it.
It said in a statement, "The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had asked the government of Orissa for conformation of compliances with the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and the Scheduled Tribe and Other Forests Dwellers (Recognition of Right) Act, 2006, and the government of Orissa has confirmed compliance in this regard as well. When we have complied with all statutory requirements as per all the regulations, we expect MoEF to give the final clearance."