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16 Aug 2010

Dr N C Saxena, Dr S Parasuraman, Dr Promode Kant, Dr Amita Baviskar, Submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India

[PDF] Report of the four member committee for investigation into the proposal submitted by the Orissa mining company for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri [India]

The proposed mining lease (PML) area...lies on the upper reaches of the Niyamgiri hills...The forested slopes of the Niyamgiri hills and the many streams that flow through them provide the means of living for Dongaria Kondh and Kutia Kondh tribes...The two communities regard the Niyamgiri hills as sacred and believe that their survival is dependent on the integrity of its ecosystem...The proposed mining lease (PML) area is used by both Dongaria and Kutia Kondh and is part of their Community Reserved Forests as well as their habitat, since they depend on it for their livelihoods as well as socio-cultural practices...Mining operations of the intensity proposed in this project spread over more than 7 square km would severely disturb this important wildlife habitat. The entire Niyamgiri hills will suffer major ecological damage if mining is allowed in the PML area...After the visit of the committee members to village Khambesi, their Palli Sabha too passed a resolution on 30 July, 2010, stating, ‘It was unanimously decided that...the mining would be protested. Through this Gram Sabha resolution this message would be conveyed to the committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, not to allow the Vedanta company for the extraction of bauxite from the Niyamagiri reserve forest...’.