Indian ministry rejects Vedanta mine plan: minister
India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday rejected controversial plans by British resources giant Vedanta to build a mine on land held as sacred by an Indian tribe.
Ramesh told reporters that forest clearance for the project had not been granted, in keeping with a recommendation by India's forest advisory panel.
"Only after being reassured by the attorney general, I have gone ahead with my decision -- upholding the recommendation of the panel after due consideration," he said.
The 8,000-strong Dongria Kondh tribespeople in Orissa state believe the remote Niyamgiri Hill range -- where the bauxite mine is mooted -- is the home of their God Niyam Raja, and rely on the land for their crops and livelihood.
London-listed Vedanta, the second-largest aluminium producer in India, wants the mine to secure a supply of bauxite for a nearby aluminium refinery, but opposition by the tribe has turned the project into a global cause celebre.
© 2010 AFP