Indian People's Tribunal raises serious human rights & environmental concerns about proposed Uktal bauxite mine in Orissa (joint venture Hindalco & Alcan)

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Company non-response
13 December 2006

Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla Group) did not respond to: Indian People’s Tribunal report on alleged human rights and environment violations involved in Utkal aluminium project.

Company response
13 December 2006

Response by Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan): Indian People’s Tribunal report on alleged human rights and environment violations involved in Utkal aluminium project.

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Article
12 December 2006

[DOC] Backgrounder: The Utkal Project

Author: Alcan

Among other amenities, the [Utkal] Project includes a residential worker’s community, new school, new medical and water treatment facilities... [Alcan] believes that given its recognized standards in the area of sustainability, its participation would bring added value to the local community and region... Alcan has not yet made an investment decision to participate. The Company’s decision will be based on whether or not it believes the Project would meet its standards of sustainability from an economic, social and environmental perspective. [also refers to Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla)]

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Article
14 October 2006

[PDF] Release of IPT [Indian People's Tribunal] Report on Kashipur: An Enquiry into Mining and Human Rights Violations in Kashipur, Orissa

Author: Indian People's Tribunal on Environment & Human Rights

An eight member multidisciplinary panel of the Indian People’s Tribunal headed by Justice S. N. Bhargava (Former Chief Justice Sikkim High Court) enquired into alleged human rights and environment violations created by a bauxite-mining project proposed by Utkal Aluminum International, Ltd. (UAIL) [joint venture Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla) and Alcan] in...Orissa...The Panel investigated specifically into opposition by the local people, the majority of whom are Scheduled tribes and found that their voices are being met by repressive measures in the form of large scale arrests, disruption of public meetings by force, violent beatings to disperse gatherings, official encouragement to the employment of private goons by UAIL, midnight raids by the police, unmitigated violence on women and children...The Panel is convinced that the bauxite-mining project proposed by UAIL will [also] have adverse environmental and health effects...The Panel members [also]...conducted spot visits to Lanjigarh where Vedanta is operating to understand the impact that such a project could have.[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Hindalco (Aditya Birla) to respond to the allegations. Hindalco declined to respond]

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Article
1 October 2006

[PDF] Evaluation of The Rapid Environmental Impact Assessments - The Proposed Capacity Expansion of Bauxite Mines at Baphlimali Plateau Rayagada/Kalahandi District, Orissa - The Proposed Capacity Expansion of Utkal Refinery, Doraguhra, Rayagada...

Author: Mark Chernaik, Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

..I evaluated the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) submitted by Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL) [joint venture Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla) & Alcan] for...1) Proposed Capacity Expansion of Bauxite Mines...at Baphlimali Plateau Rayagada/Kalahandi District, Orissa...and 2) the Proposed Capacity Expansion of Utkal Refinery, Orissa...UAIL’s proposed refinery would be a major source of air pollution...UAIL underestimates the amount of SO2 that the proposed refinery would emit...UAIL fails to account for mercury emissions...UAIL fails to consider using natural gas...UAIL fails to present measures necessary to protect groundwater and soil contamination...

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Article
1 October 2006

[PDF] full report: "Kashipur: An Enquiry into Mining and Human Rights Violations in Kashipur, Orissa"

Author: Indian People's Tribunal on Environment & Human Rights

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Article
1 April 2006

[PDF] The Utkal Project: Frequently-asked questions [Orissa, India]

Author: Alcan

Recent events demonstrate that the vast majority of local residents support the Utkal Project...The Utkal Project now also has a fully approved Rehabilitation and Resettlement Package(R&R). Utkal’s commitment is to develop a constructive dialogue and collaborate with any stakeholders acting in good faith...Most of the land associated with the Project is on non-agricultural land where farming capabilities are extremely limited due to the poor quality of the soil and the lack of irrigation...The original and very comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed some time ago and received formal approval by the government authorities.

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