Environment ministry stops Vedanta’s refinery expansion in Orissa


New Delhi: The environment ministry Thursday decided to stall the six-fold expansion of London-based Vedanta’s aluminium refinery and captive power plant in Orissa citing violation of environment laws and asked the state government to take legal action against the company.

Support TwoCircles

The ministry had issued show cause notice to the company under the Environment Protection Act (EPA) in August this year for undertaking construction activity without obtaining prior environment clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment, 2006 notification for expansion of its aluminium refinery and captive power plant from 1 million tonnes per annum (MMTA) to 6 MMTA and from 75 to 300 MW respectively at its unit in Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district of Orissa.

“Based on the response from the company, the ministry had decided to cancel the terms of reference (TOR) issued in 2009,” the ministry said in its order.

The ministry has directed the company to maintain status quo at the site and no further construction shall be undertaken in respect of expansion of the project.

“The secretary environment and forest, Orissa has been asked to take legal action against the company under the provision of EPA for violation of EIA, 2006,” it added.

The ministry in August had denied Vedanta permission to mine bauxite, saying it violated environment laws.

The order comes three days after the ministry panel submitted its report on the POSCO project in the state. The majority of the panel had sought cancellation of environment clearance to the South Korean Steel company.