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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Vedanta, whose subsidiary operates the mine, meanwhile defended its operations, saying that the report is based on an “outdated document”, which was subjected to intense scrutiny by the Supreme Court.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.