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24 Jul 2005

Minati Dash, Tehelka [India]

Mines vs People: Sleeping with the Enemy [India]

...the State has been consistently flouting democratic processes in the tribal areas of Rayageda district in south Orissa in favour of an alumina-mining venture...The project, Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), is based in Kashipur, and it will directly displace 24 villages and affect the livelihood of thousands... Due to ‘popular opinion’ against the project, many of its partners withdrew, including Norsk Hydro (Norway) and Tata. Currently, it’s a joint venture of Hindalco (Aditya Birla group) that has 55 percent stakes and Alcan (Canada) that holds 45 percent stakes in the project. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Hindalco (Aditya Birla) to respond to the allegations. Hindalco (Aditya Birla) declined to respond]