Odisha, India: Conflicting accounts of public hearing over expansion of Vedanta's Lanjigarh refinery
On 30 July, in the town of Lanjigarh in the district of Kalahandi, Odisha, district authorities and the Odisha State Pollution Control board organised a public hearing to discuss the potential expansion of an alumina-producing facility in the town. Sesa Sterlite, a subsidiary of the Vedanta group, was seeking environmental clearance to expand its 1 million tons per annum (MTPA) refinery to a capacity of 6 MTPA. After the meeting, government authorities and company officials declared the hearing for the expansion “a success,” and told journalists that villagers supported the expansion. But there have been conflicting accounts of the hearing. Lawyers, journalists and villagers who were present at the meeting confirmed that the hearing was a deeply polarised event and did not see unanimous support for the project. [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Vedanta Resources to respond, response included].