Bhubaneswar: Unhappy over Centre rejecting
environment clearance to Vedanta group`s proposed USD 1.7
billion bauxite mining project in the state, Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh
had given no indication of the decision when he met him in
"He (Ramesh) had never mentioned yesterday about this
(rejection of clearance to Vedanta`s mining project)," Patnaik
told reporters here.
Asked whether there was any politics behind the Centre`s
action, Patnaik said, "I hope this is not politics."
"These investments in Orissa were meant to generate jobs
for the people and add to the state`s revenue. Therefore, they
should be given go ahead," he said, adding that tribal
dominated backward district like Kalahandi had never received
such a huge investment in the past.
Patnaik said his government would undertake a "detailed
examination" of the Environment and Forest ministry`s refusal
to grant environment clearance to the project.
"The state government would undertake a detailed
examination of the Union Environment and Forest ministry`s
rejection order and would take correct and appropriate steps
on the matter," he said.
On the N C Saxena panel finding fault in implementation
of forest rights act, forest conservation act and environment
protection act, he said the state government worked on the
directives of the Supreme Court while making progress on the
Meanwhile, the Centre`s announcement on rejection of
environment clearance to Vedanta`s mining project also came as
a "surprise" to the team of senior Orissa government officials
who met Ramesh earlier in the morning.
The Union minister had given a patient hearing to the
officials led by state Forest and Environment secretary U N
"We were surprised to find the news about scarping of
forest clearance to Vedanta`s mining project barely within
half-an-hour of our discussion with the minister," a member of
the team pointed out.
Apparently aware about timing of his announcement, Ramesh
had said "There have been no emotions and no politics and no
prejudice involved in this report. I have taken this decision
in a proper legal approach."