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Industry Info

BJP flays Vedanta, L&T bauxite deal

The BJP has opposed the state government's attempt to consider bauxite supply from two mines in Rayagada's Kashipur block to refinery of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) at Kalahandi's Lanjigarh. The two mines have been allotted to Larsen and Toubro (L&T).

In a memorandum, submitted to the district administration, the saffron party has urged the state government not to recommend the Centre to give mining lease (ML) to L&T. The party claimed that the company has failed to establish its end-use plant in Rayagada district.

The party alleged that in 1991, L&T had obtained prospecting licence for Sijimali and Kutrumali mines to establish its refinery and smelter plant in the district. But after keeping the two mines for over two decades, the company is now trying to export minerals to VAL's facilities outside the district, the party added.

"Locals had hoped that establishment of a refinery and a smelter plant in the region will strengthen their economic condition and develop the area. But, now as L&T has failed to establish its units, we demand before the state government not to recommend ML for the company," said BJP's state executive committee member Kaliram Majhi.

Last week, Vedanta group chairman Anil Agrawal and L&T's executive chairman A M Naik had met chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The state government had assured bauxite for the VAL's refinery at Lanjigarh from the L&T's reserves at Sijimali and Kutrumali mines which have a combined deposit of 300 million tonne.

Earlier, all the 12 gram sabhas held in July and August had rejected to Vedanta's plan to mine Niyamgiri for bauxite reserves. Mining officer (Koraput) Sailaja Prasad Nanda said the VAL had also applied for a bauxite mine spread over 313 hectare across Sarambai, Malipadar, Kutamal, Rogepadar and Kolonga villages in Kasipur block in 2010.

Source: Times of India