Bhubaneswar: The Lok Shakti Abhijan of Prafulla Samantra has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the mining operation by OMC in Kodingamali area of Odisha’s Rayagada district.

Prafulla Samantra told Indian Whispers that his Lok Shakti Abhijan has filed a case in the apex court against the Odisha government -owned mining company’s activities in Kodingamali mines. Samanatra said that  following rejection of his application in the National Green Tribunal, Lok Shakit has moved to the Supreme Court on this matter.

The Lok Shakti has stated in the petition that the OMC has not followed the statutory procedures before staring the mining operation. The OMC, which was allotted the mines in 2017, has not conducted the Gram Sabha for obtaining environment clearance(EC).

The Kodingamali mines along with Potangi was reserved for the Central sector Nalco. However, the state government in 2007 allotted the Kodingamali mines to Aditya Aluminium which was planning to set up a 1 mtpa refinery in the area. Aditya Alumium in 2008 had obtained the environment . But, then it shelved its project and  surrendered the mines following which the state leased it out to OMC.

Lok Shakti Abhijan’s contention is that OMC has not followed the procedure like obtaining fresh EC after allotment of the mines. Instead of taking a fresh EC, the state-owned mining company has started the mining activities seeking an amendment to the 2008 EC.

The villagers of Kashipur and Laxmipur, who had given their consent for the Aditya Aluminium project and parted their land, are now opposing the mining activities. They demand fresh Gram Sabha since the scope of the project has changed considerably. While the earlier EC for carrying of bauxite to a plant about 3 km away from the mines. Now, it would be transported to Vedanta’s Lanjigarh refinery 152 km away.

OMC has got EC for diversion of 435 km of forest land and to lay road for 800 truck to ferry 3.7 mtpa bauxite from the mines to Vedanta’s plant.

The Kodingamali plateau promises 81 million tonne of bauxite.

Vedanta Resources now source bauxite for its 2 mtpa Lanjigarh refinery.  The Anil Agarwal’s company is proposing to ramp up the capacity to 4 mtpa and subsequently to 6 mtpa 2021. With the Kodingamali mines become operational, Vedant Refinery will get 3 mtpa bauxite which would only sufficient for 1 mtpa alumina capacity.