Vedanta to appear before MoEF on Sept 30



Bhubaneswar: The Vedanta Group, which is in the midst of controversies in Orissa for allegedly violating several laws, is to appear before the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on Thursday.

"We have been asked to appear before MoEF for our reply to the show cause notice," Vedanta's Vice-President A K Samal said after meeting Orissa Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.

The company's proposed mining project at Niyamgiri hills was rejected by the ministry last month after the Saxena Committee accused Vedanta of violating the environment protection law and the forest conservation act.

Vedanta was issued a show cause notice by the ministry to reply to questions raised by Saxena Committee. The company was also accused of procuring bauxite raw material from 'illegal' mines in Jharkhand.

Claiming that the company had done no mistake and proceeded in implementing the project basing on the Supreme Court direction, its vice-president said "things will be clear at the September 30 hearing.

"We are hopeful the MoEF will realise that the company has done no mistake both in its proposed mining project as well as refinery project at Lanjigarh." During his meeting with the chief secretary, Samal also raised the functioning of its new thermal power plant at Jharsuguda.

"This apart, we have urged the state government to respond to the MoEF's queries on Vedanta's proposed Rs 15,000 crore university project at Puri," Samal said. The Anil Agarwal Foundation's world class university project was at standstill after the ministry raised some questions on alleged violation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) act.

PTI