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Amnesty International’s report says that the 8,000-strong community comprising largely of adivasis in Lanjigarh in Orissa has suffered violations of human rights over water and health, because of pollution and poor management of waste produced by the refinery
Alumina mining in Orissa is causing serious health and environmental hazards, a leading rights watch said on Tuesday, slamming the Indian government and mining major Vedanta Resources Plc for failing to properly inform indigenous communities about its impact, reports PTI.
According to a report released by Amnesty International, the 8,000-strong community comprising largely of adivasis in Lanjigarh in Orissa has suffered violations of human rights over water and health, because of pollution and poor management of waste produced by the refinery.
"Vedanta Aluminium Ltd's alumina refinery has led to water and air pollution, seriously undermining the quality of life and threatening the health of nearby communities, some of whom live only a few hundred yards from the refinery's boundary walls," the report said.
It also slammed the Union government for failing to obtain “free, prior and informed consent” of the Dongria Kondh tribe living in the thickly forested Niyamgiri Hills before approving the Vedanta project.
Vedanta, whose subsidiary operates the mine, meanwhile defended its operations, saying that the report is based on an “outdated document”, which was subjected to intense scrutiny by the Supreme Court.
It said the Supreme Court has already “reviewed, refined and endorsed the scrupulous approach manifested by Vedanta Resources in every aspect of the project's operation” in its August 2008 order.
IOC is setting up a dedicated polymer (e-sbr) unit near its Panipat refinery complex
State-run oil major, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), is planning to set up a dedicated unit to produce emulsion-styrene butadiene rubber (e-sbr). The unit will be set up adjacent to its Panipat refinery complex. IOC’s Panipat refinery complex will be commissioned in March.
E-sbr is one of the most widely used polymers in the world in many demanding applications. It is predominantly used for the production of car & light truck tyres and truck tyre retread compounds.
IOC has made a presentation before a committee of the ministry of forests and environment seeking environmental clearance for the e-sbr project.
However, IOC refused to comment on the proposed e-sbr facility. In an e-mail, Sharat Meshram, executive director, IOC said, “In this connection, please be informed that due to confidentiality requirement, the information cannot be shared.”
When it will be commissioned, the Panipat refinery complex will be one of IOC's biggest petrochemical projects. The cost of the naphtha cracker and polymer complex at Panipat was Rs14,439 crore.
The refinery project envisages setting up of a naphtha cracker plant based on captive utilisation of naphtha from Panipat, Mathura and Koyali refineries of IOC. With a capacity to produce 800,000 metric tonnes per year of ethylene, the complex will have associated units such as a hydrogenation facility and butadiene extraction & benzene extraction plants. According to an official from the company, the refinery complex will be commissioned in March.
IOC’s finances are currently under pressure with its key refining business losing money as prices of refined products, which are state controlled, have not increased in line with global crude oil prices. This has affected some of the company’s planned projects.
IOC’s net profit for the third quarter of FY09 declined 76.45% to Rs696.59 crore due to declining gross-refining margins, rising under-recoveries, increasing loss on bonds and on account of losses on fixed assets, finished products, stores and compensation for the fire which took place on 29 October 2009 at its Jaipur Terminal. The company is currently losing about Rs110 crore per day on selling fuels below cost.
On Tuesday, SBI hinted that lending rates may rise from the second quarter of fiscal 2010-11, even though there is no immediate pressure on interest rates
The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday hinted that lending rates may rise from the second quarter of fiscal 2010-11, even though there is no immediate pressure on interest rates, reports PTI.
"So far as bank lending rates are concerned, I do not expect lending rates going up before May-June," SBI chairman OP Bhatt told reporters in New Delhi.
He said that money supply is under pressure, but interest rates will remain stable in the immediate future. “There is pressure on liquidity, but no immediate pressure on interest rates," Mr Bhatt said.
In its monetary review recently, the RBI asked banks to keep more cash with it, which will shrink money supply by Rs36,000 crore from the system.
The apex bank's move to hike Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the portion of deposits banks keep in cash with the central bank, by 75 basis points to 5.75% will come into effect from 13th February in two tranches.
Earlier, the largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank chief executive officer and managing director Chanda Kochhar had also said that there would be upward pressure on interest rates from the second quarter of this fiscal, because demand for investment would increase.
Mr Bhatt added that its associate bank SBI Indore will be merged into it by March-end. The government and the SBI Board have already given in-principle approval to the merger. SBI Saurashtra has already been merged into the parent company.
Mr Bhatt also said that the SBI sees loan expansion at the rate of 16%-18% this fiscal. "We are already at 17%," he said.
The RBI has also projected credit expansion target at 16%-18% for this fiscal.