Bhubaneswar: With Orissa having bauxite
reserves of over 1.8 billion tonne a group of geologists and
geoscientists today alleged that multinational companies were
throttling development of the ore in the state.
"There is a concerted and deliberate attempt by some
multinational companies producing alumina and aluminium
to throttle development of bauxite deposits in the state," the
president of Society of Geoscientists and Allied
Technologists (SGAT), R C Mohanty, told reporters here.
Mohanty alleged that some NGOs were closely working
for the international mining lobby which did not want
development of the state.
Claiming that production of aluminium and alumina
would be cheapest in Orissa compared to any place in the
world, Mohanty said "big aluminium companies are apprehensive
that bauxite mining in Orissa could break their monopoly in
the international market."
Stating that scientific mining methods had prevented
soil erosion and siltation in rivers, Mohanty said that
bauxite mining instead helped in recharging groundwater.
"The views that bauxite mining will affect local
ecology are based on `no knowledge` in the mining sector,"
said another geologist B K Mohanty.
The socio-economic condition in Panchpatmali area in
Koraput district had improved only after Nalco began bauxite
mining in the area, the society claimed.
The Centre had recently rejected a bauxite mining
proposal by the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) at Niyamgiri
hills in Kalahandi district.
The state owned OMC was to explore bauxite along with
Sterilite Industries Limited (SIL) at the Niyamgiri hills to
feed the aluminium refinery of Vedanta Aluminium Limited