Home >politics >policy >Anti-Vedanta body to march near Niyamgiri

Mumbai: An anti-Vedanta body will undertake a padyayatra, or journey by foot, in the Kalahandi and Rayagada districts of Orissa next week to inform villagers about the gram sabha to be conducted as directed by the Supreme Court.

The gram sabha (village council) will play a crucial role in deciding whether Vedanta Resources Plc can mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills and grow its aluminium business in India.

“Our padyayatra will inform people about the democratic process to be followed, how to make your voice heard and against muscle power and money power," Lingaraj Azad, organizer of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti said speaking over the phone from Kandel village in Kalahandi.

The padyayatra will take place between 14 May and 21 May, Azad said.

The Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti is an anti-Vedanta body, but Azad did not say if he will be campaigning against the proposed mining in the Niyamgiri hills.

On 18 April, the Supreme Court said gram sabhas will give a report on the contentious mining proposal in three months, following which, in two months, the ministry of environment and forest affairs will decide finally if Vedanta’s project can go ahead.

The Supreme Court’s order said the gram sabha must be carried out independently without the influence of the project proponents.

A Vedanta spokesperson declined comment.

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