Vedanta – India Mine Report
The controversy about the proposed bauxite mine in eastern India heated up today with the release of a report by the Environment Minister’s committee that suggests the British company Vedanta has acted illegally. Protests against the planned mine have included celebrities such as Bianca Jagger, Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin, according to Survival International. Such protests have delayed the mine opening for years.
The report states that the intended mining area is surrounded by dense forests and is the habitat for diverse species of plant and animal life. The area is home to around 20 species of orchids which have been used for centuries as medicines by the native Dongaria Kondh tribe. The protestors suggest that the mine will destroy the native people, as well as the important link that the forests provide between wildlife sanctuaries for elephants, tigers and other animals.
India’s Minister of Environment and Forests has suggested that he would use the report to decide whether or not to permit Vedanta to start mining. The Guardian writes that another panel will meet Friday to study the report before the Minister’s department makes their final decision.
It may be too early to say it, but with the release of this condemning report, it looks like the forest, native people and animals may have won this battle.