Odisha to take a decision on holding gram sabha in 2/3 days:CS

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Wednesday said it would be in a position to take a decision on holding gram sabha meeting in two-three days after the Law department submits its views on the Supreme Court judgement on proposed bauxite mining atop Niyamgiri hills.

"The state government's counsel has given his views on the Supreme Court judgement. The Law department will study views of the counsel and also examine the apex court's order before submitting their views," Odisha Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters here.

Asked about the location of the proposed meeting, Patnaik said, "that is not clear now. A decision can be taken only after the Law department submits its views which is expected in two-three days."

In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court had said that the gram sabha would take a decision whether bauxite mining would be allowed atop Niyamgiri hills. Local tribals have socio-cultural and religious attachment with the hills.

Bauxite mining at Niyamgiri hills is significant for Vedanta's alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. The refinery has stopped operation since December last year due to scarcity of bauxite even as a huge deposit of the mineral was found around the refinery plant.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has asked Odisha government to take steps for holding gram sabha soon.

Patnaik took stock of the state's preparedness for holding such gram sabhas as per the apex court's judgement.