Friday, November 23, 2007

the supreme court in a wise decision has barred the brutal mining giant vedanta on the niyamgiri proposal. the local tribals, ngo's and the central empowered committee have all recommended against this dangerous project.

the SC in its last month hearings seems to be inclined to clear the mining project provided some 'developmental' issues are sorted out. but in a reverse of that course, it clearly said it cannot take the risk of giving such an important national asset in hands of a foreign entity.

this is a welcome decision. but also a one that lurks in danger. if i am not wrong, it looks like SC seems to have postponed the inevitable. the inevitable being the approval of mining on basis that money can be deposited for tribal 'development'. this seems to be the line that the SC seems to be tagging along (the line that money can be used for mitigation of the harmful, deadly and irreplaceable effects of brutal open cast mining in a crucial area like niyamgiri hills on which depend thousands and thousands of tribals and significant wildlife) and they seems to have merely sounded that line again and left the field open.

although vedanta seems to be out for the next bid, its subsidiary sterlite (and any other foreign multinational or indian multinational), with its great reputation in tuticorin smelter factory, can bid by putting meager money on the table. and also the original concern that any area (forest, non forest, bio diversity rich, etc) can be opened for 'sustainable' mining under the pretext of the company 'committing' a few crores of pocket change still exist.

if the honorable, respected and learned SC had told 'guys, we cannot be mining all over india. we cannot be mining on crucial forest areas on which depends tens of thousands of people and vital wildlife, we cannot mine on crucial watershed regions' then it is a super welcome move since the SC is doing what the elected government has abysmally failed to do.

one important vertical in this decision by the SC is the fact that norwegian government pension fund has passed critical remarks on vedanta. the fact that the fund rejected and ejected vedanta out of their portfolio should be a strong example for indian government authorities to follow.

but the SC decision seems not so outright. we have to wait and watch on this story as it unfolds.
(the kondh tribals of niyamgiri area. instead of having sustainable people inclusive development, the orissa and central governments want to rip open the forests on which they depend to brutal bauxite mining. development as cases like niyamgiri issue shows, is 100% fake)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home