India

Vedanta diversifies into oil even as mining found illegal

Vedanta Resources diversified into oil business by taking over 60 per cent stake in Cairn India which is owning India’s largest oilfield at Mangala in Rajasthan.
The deal is expected to be completed over a period of three months and Sesa Goa, the leading Goan mine field which was taken over by Vedanta earlier, will have a 20 per cent stake in the new venture.

However, while Vedanta is expanding its horizons, its mining operations have come under a cloud with several violations have been noted in its bauxite mining at Niyamgiri which include encroaching upon government lands, furnishing false information to procure clearances and even illegally constructing a refinery at Lanjigarh in Orissa.

Besides these illegalities the four-member committee headed by N C Saxena also observed that the Orissa government colluded with the company while the Centre just looked the other way at all the violations.

The committee has recommended that Vedanta be barred from mining in the hills in Orissa that are the abode to two tribes.

The report assumes significance in the light of the Naxalite issue that has plagued the government implying that it is because of such incidents wherein the authorities turn a blind eye to the violations of the rich that the Naxalites find support amongst the poor tribals.

 

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