Tag Archive for 'Vedanta'

Jairam Ramesh – India’s economic reformer

John Elliott at his blog Riding the Elephant:

My choice is Jairam Ramesh, minister for the environment, who has used more than two decades of personal experience as an economic reforms adviser to bring some order and ethics to a previously policy-starved and corrupt area of government.

He has, to return to Mr Jaitley’s words, showed that “truth comes out”, not by directly accusing those involved of evading and bending environmental laws and administration, but simply by rigorously implementing those laws and personally reforming the administration.

Consequently, the truth has come out about how Vedanta, a London-based mining and metals group headed by India-born Anil Agarwal, has breached environmental regulations with bauxite mining and other projects, and a proposed university in Orissa. A long-delayed $12bn iron and steelworks project planned by Posco of Korea has come unstuck, also in Orissa, because of possibly faulty environmental and land-use approvals. A politically influential branch of the Jindal business family has been told it has ignored requirements on another Orissa steelworks. A partially built “hill station” (a romantic euphemism for lucrative urbanisation of rolling hills) called Lavasa in Maharashtra, which is promoted by powerful political and business interests, is also (as the Indian media terms it) “under the scanner”.

Mr Ramesh’s approach has also helped the truth to come out about massive illegal mining in other states such as Karnataka and Jharkhand, tied in most cases to corrupt politicians. More:

India tribes fight mining firm in real-life Avatar

From Reuters:

In India’s impoverished but mineral-rich state of Orissa, hundreds of indigenous tribespeople are battling to stop London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc from extracting bauxite from what they say is their sacred mountain.

“The fundamental story of Avatar — if you take away the multi-colored lemurs, the long-trunked horses and warring androids — is being played out today in Niyamgiri mountain in India’s Orissa state,” said Stephen Corry, director of the British charity, Survival International.

“Like the Na’vi of Avatar, the Dongria Kondh tribe are also at risk.”

Vedanta says its mine would not violate the rights of indigenous tribespeople, saying that all its projects are conducted within the law and using international best practices. More: