Signature campaign seeks restarting of Vedanta refinery

Bhubaneswar, April 12 (IANS) A large number of people who have been affected by the Dec 5, 2012 closure of the Vedanta alumina refinery in Odisha have launched a signature campaign seeking its reopening, a leader of the move said Friday.

The plant was shut down as there was a shortage of the raw material, bauxite, in the area.

Joining the signature campaign, many local villagers and people who worked at the plant said they would submit memoranda, along with over ten thousand signatures, to different local authorities in Kalahandi district, where the plant is located.

“We handed over a memorandum to District Collector Gobinda Chandra Sathy,” Sridhara Pesnia, president of the Lanjigarh Anchalika Vikash Parishad, an organisation campaigning to save the plant, told IANS.

A separate delegation including hundreds of villagers submitted a similar memorandum to the collector of neighbouring Rayagada district, Sashi Bhusan Padhi, he said.

“We will also meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar and submit a memorandum with more than ten thousand signatures. We will request him to take steps to resume the alumina refinery,” he said.

Vedanta had to close its one-million-tonne-capacity alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 600 km from here, Dec 5, 2012, due to shortage of bauxite.

Pesnia said the plant had offered employment and means of livelihood to more than 15,000 people in Kalahandi and Rayagada districts.

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