Residents of 12 villages who live in the shadow of the massive refinery – mostly Adivasi (indigenous) and Dalit communities who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods – have long campaigned against the expansion, arguing it would further pollute their land and water.
The refinery, which has been in operation for four years, fails to meet accepted national and international standards in relation to its environmental, social and human rights impact. The authorities must order an immediate clean-up of the site and monitor the health status of the local communities.
This victory is certainly significant and sends a strong and important message to Vedanta and other corporations who think little about environmental and human rights. Unfortunately, the threat from Vedanta’s red mud pond still looms. Act now to urge the Indian government ensure that Vedanta act to protect the lives and livelihoods of the thousands of families who live near its refinery.
For more about human rights issues in India, please follow Amnesty USA country specialist on Twitter @JamesMutti