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Mining major Vedanta Resource's billionaire Chairman Anil Agarwal today said legitimate mining should not be curbed as investment in the sector can eradicate poverty and generate employment.
"Don't curb legitimate mining. Investment must be made in exploration and development of natural resources to eradicate poverty and unemployment," Agarwal said in a tweet.
Nearly a fortnight ago, the Environment Ministry had rejected Vedanta's bauxite mining proposal in Odisha's Niyamgiri Hills, putting the company's Rs 5,000 crore investment for a 1-million-ton aluminium refinery at stake.
The Environment Ministry refused the next-stage forest clearance to Odisha Mining Corporation and Vedanta Group's mining project in Niyamgiri Hills area in Lanjigarh, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts following Forest Advisory Committee's recommendation for withdrawal of the clearance.
The Supreme Court had stalled bauxite mining in Odisha until gram sabhas of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts gave their clearances. Gram sabhas voted against the mining projects.
Niyamgiri hills are considered sacred by local tribes and others as it is the abode of Niyamraja, their presiding deity.
Vedanta Resources had also been facing problems in iron ore mining following a ban imposed the apex court on mining in Karanataka and Goa. Though ban on mining in Karnataka has been lifted, in Goa the mining is yet to start.