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Cong agitation soon against Vedanta in Chhattisgarh



Raipur, October 10, 2010: Main opposition Congress party today accused the Anil Agrawal-led Vedanta group of involved in large scale irregularities and said it would soon start an agitation against the Vedanta.

"The devastation in Kawardha caused by the mining activities of the Vedanta Group is greater and worse than Orissa. It is surprising that the Vedanta group is ignoring all rules of land and the BJP led government in Chhattisgarh is still giving them all favours," former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ajit Jogi told a press conference here today.

Like Orissa, Vedanta group has managed to get mining rights of Bauxite in Kawardha District (Maikal Hills) area of Chhattisgarh, inhabited by Baiga Tribes identified as more backward and is also identified as one of those tribes who are getting extinct, Jogi said.

"The devastation in Kawardha caused by the mining activities of the Vedanta Group is greater and worse than Orissa. Most unfortunately, the Vedanta was involved in violations of all the laws, including the environment, mining, forest and Panchayat laws," the senior Congress leader said.

The situation was more grave than that of Orissa but the state government has decided to turn a blind eye to the Vedanta matter, because of which he had written a letter to the Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh drawing his attention to the ground reality here, Jogi said.

The Congress also demanded immediate halt of the mining activities in Kawardha by the Vedanta to save the primitive Baiga tribes.

On the Vedanta run BALCO plant in Chhattisgarh, a chimney was collapsed a year back killing at least 40 workers, and it was also accused by the Congress with out any proper permission the BALCO was constructing that structure.

The BALCO Cancer Hospital project had also attracted lot of criticism from the opposition parties on the land allotment issue.

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