Mining: Cong welcomes SC verdict, Naveen awaits report

Chief Minister Naveen PatnaikBHUBANESWAR: The Supreme Court’s judgment of stalling Vedanta’s proposed bauxite mining in Niyamgiri Hills today evoked mixed response in Odisha with opposition Congress welcoming it while the state government said it would wait for a copy of the verdict.

The Apex court earlier in the day has stalled the bauxite mining in Niyamgiri Hills till gram sabhas in the districts of Kalahandi and Rayagada have given their approval.

“We’ll await the report of the Apex court. We do not have the report yet,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters on the sideline of a function here.

BJP state chief K V Singhdeo said “the state government should respect the SC’s judgment and hold gram sabas in the affected areas without further delay.”

Union Minister of State, Chemicals and Fertilizer Srikant Jena and Congress MP Pradeep Majhi said “it is a historic judgment. The Apex court has reaffirmed tribals’ rights on natural resources like land, water, forest and hills.

Majhi said they were opposed to mining in Niyamgiri Hills.

“But, we have no problem if Vedanta is allowed to undertake bauxite mining in other places.”

Jena also said “I believe that the tribal people will also oppose mining in Niyamgiri Hills at the gram sabhas. I demand scarping of the agreement between the state government and Vedanta for mining in Niyamgiri Hills.”-PTI

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