Vedanta Aluminium seeks bauxite supply to run Lanjigarh plant
"We shall be grateful, if some urgent action is taken for ensuring bauxite supply to the plant as agreed in the MoU between the Government of Odisha on June 7, 2003, and amendment thereto on April 4, 2007, so that the plant can resume operation at the earliest," VAL president and COO Mukesh Kumar said in a letter to Odisha's Steel and Mines Secretary.
Stating that VAL's refinery in the tribal dominated and backward Lanjigarh block remained closed since December 5, 2012, Kumar said the company had been pleading for bauxite availability since a long time.
He said the matter was also raised before the Ministerial Committee on mineral supply to local industries on February 15, 2013.
"Closure of the plant has impacted the overall economy of the region as thousands of people have become jobless due to the closure."
Kumar's letter to the state government came after local people of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts submitted petitions demanding re-opening of the refinery. The affected people were also planning to meet Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard, sources said.
Earlier, the aluminium major had argued that it located the refinery at Lanjigarh keeping in view the abundance of bauxite in and around the area.
"However, the irony is that refinery has been closed due to lack of bauxite," a senior executive of the company said, adding VAL's application for alternative source of bauxite reserve has also not been processed by the Odisha government.