The Vedanta Refinery is a UK-owned aluminum refinery in the state of Orissa in India that is believed to fail to meet environmental standards and is purported to be a major source of water and land pollution in the twelve villages that surround the plant. There were plans to expand the plant to six times its current size, but the Indian government rejected the plans in late 2010 due to the project’s violation of environmental laws in place in India. In addition, the plans would have a huge impact on the rights of the local Dongria Kohdh adivasi and Dalit communities living in the area.
The Vedanta Refinery has faced criticism because of its recent expansion. As a mining company, it has had a negative impact on the ecological system in India. The forests which are prized by environmentalists happen to be the most resource-rich areas for mining. Most of the controversy, then, stems from the fact that a choice must be made between monetary gain and environmental preservation. The Union Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, has said that he is trying to find a balance that will benefit the Indian economy and environment.
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