Campaign to re-start Vedanta refinery in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, April 24 (IANS) At least 1,000 people affected by the Dec 5, 2012 closure of the Vedanta alumina refinery in Odisha staged a demonstration near the plant Wednesday seeking its reopening, a company official said.

The one-million-tonne-capacity alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 600 km form here, was shut down due to a shortage of bauxite, the key raw material used to produce alumina.

The demonstrators, mostly those affected by the refinery’s closure, gathered at the main gate of the plant and met Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) president Mukesh Kumar and submitted a memorandum demanding restarting of the unit, the official told IANS.

“The closure of the plant for more than four months has crippled the economy and a large numbers of people are struggling for their livelihood in our region covering Kalahandi and Rayagada district,” said Chandra Pesnia, an area resident and demonstrator.

“We have been trying to procure bauxite to run the plant but our attempts went in vain. However, after the decision of the inter-ministerial committee of the state government April 30 we may be able to take some concrete steps,” VAL president Mukesh Kumar said.

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