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19 Jul 2011

Amnesty Intl.

Orissa high court rejects Vedanta refinery expansion

The High Court of Orissa…upheld the Indian government's decision…to reject Vedanta Aluminium's plans for the…expansion of the Lanjigarh refinery, finding that the project violated the country's environmental laws. Vedanta Aluminium challenged the Ministry of Environment and Forest's decision in the high court…[Amnesty Intl. Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Madhu Malhotra says] The refinery…fails to meet…national and international standards in relation to its environmental, social and human rights impact. The authorities must order an immediate clean-up of the site and monitor the health status of the local communities…Residents of 12 villages who live in the shadow of the massive refinery – mostly…Indigenous…and Dalit communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods – have long campaigned against the expansion, arguing it would further pollute their land and water…[also refers to Sterlite India, Orissa Mining Corporation]