Monday, April 5, 2010

Leave anti-development path

It is always being said that the people of Orissa are poor despite the land having rich natural resources. These resources are not being able to change the fate of the people of the State due to lack of proper utilization. During the tenure of Mr. Biju Patnaik as the Chief Minister, the Government took up steps to make the state industrially developed by investing a portion of the natural resources of the State. The process of industrialization kicked during this period to utilize the iron ores, manganese, chrome ores, limestone, dolomite and coal reserved in the State. The process still continues with the establishment of many mega and medium scale steel and aluminium industries and thermal power plants. The per capita income of the people of Orissa has also gone up as they have become the stakeholders in the process of development. With this, the infrastructures of the State have been developed and many steps are being taken up towards the development of education, agriculture and forest conservation. With the private business houses being partners in this development process, the lifestyle of the State has started to change. But industrial development of Orissa is not one-sided. The State Government, industrial houses and people of the land are making concerted efforts towards the progress of the State. Parallel efforts are also on in the field of the development of the tribals and people belonging to backward classes. They have been entitled with the Forest Rights and their productivity is being enhanced through development of education and healthcare facilities. But the process of including the tribals in this stream of development is being delayed due to the democratic nature of the procedure being followed. Taking this delay as an opportunity, some terrorist and leftist groups, voluntary organizations and people with vested interests have started movement against industrialization in the name of environment and displacement. It is unfortunate that while Amnesty International has taken the lead in this movement, some outfits like Chasi Mulia Sangha in Koraput are continuing agitations against land acquisition and protesting the industries in the name of R&R and land acquisition issues. But in real practice the rehabilitation and peripheral development of different industrial houses have contributed to further the socio-economic development of districts like Kalahandi, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur. The locals are being provided with new houses, schools, health centres, nutritious foods and midday meals. But the opponents of this development process are instigating the people by spreading negative information. While the process of change is changing the standard of living of the people, they are, on the other hand, are being misled. The innocent people are being organized against industrialization in the name of environment, traditional way of living and religion. While voluntary organizations like Amnesty International are misleading the locals against the proposed Dhamra Port Project, POSCO’s steel project, proposed thermal power project and aluminium project, the leftists and terrorist groups are taking the advantage of the situation and creating violence. There is a need of peaceful environment for the economic and social development. On the other hand, while the rehabilitation and resettlement programmes are being implemented with the consultation of the displaced, they are instigated to follow the path of violence. Considering the adverse effects of the Naxal and Maoist movements in the development process of the Eastern India , the Government of India has taken serious measures to handle the issue. While some terrorists have been arrested, some others have surrendered meanwhile. It is being expected that all the problems would be sorted out if they come forward for peaceful discussion leaving the path of violence. Time has come to choose the path of peace and progress. The groups who are instigating and misleading people against development should remember that one has to forego something to achieve something. Countries like USA , UK , Russia and China have attained development by realizing this truth. So, discussion to end all the controversies and disputes and peaceful resolution of all the issues would bring prosperity to Orissa and would enhance the strength of India .

Orissa Power Sector to get a new boost with Vedanta

Orissa Power Sector to get a new boost with Vedanta

First unit of 2400 MW IPP to be commissioned in coming summer this year to fulfill the state requirement.

Construction work for Vedanta University along with Super Specialty Hospital and Medical College has been started.

Vedanta seeks support from the government for additional source Bauxite.

Plans are afloat for construction of 100 bed Burn and Trauma Care centre at Bhubaneswar.

Vedanta reiterates its commitment to set up Metal Park at Jharsuguda for Downstream industries.

Vedanta to focus on promotion of Orissa’s art and culture

Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc and its senior executives called upon Mr. Naveen Patnaik, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Orissa and updated him about the status of on going initiatives of Vedanta for the people of Orissa. Highlights of the discussion are:

1. Odisha’s Power sector gets a relief, after the announcement by Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources. ‘The first Unit of 2400 Independent Power Plant at Jharsuguda would be commissioned in coming summer’, he said. This will add 600 MW

to the state’s power production capacity and can help the state government in combating the current power crisis. It is to be mentioned that Vedanta has been supplying 15% of the total requirement of the state power from its captive power plant since recent past.

2. Commencement of construction of Vedanta University project at Puri. Mr. Anil Agarwal thanked Mr. Naveen Patnaik and his government for extending administrative support to begin the construction work. It is to be noted that Orissa government has already passed the Vedanta University bill in July, 2009. Government of Orissa has promised to provide full support for establishing of the world class university at Puri. At the first stage, the University will have a 1000 bed super specialty hospital and Medical College, also academic building.

3. Mr. Anil Agarwal also informed to the government that Lanjigarh refinery is fully operational by sourcing bauxite from other states, incurring a huge opportunity loss for both states as well as company. State government has assured to look into the issue seriously and try to work out for an immediate solution.

4. Construction activities for a specialized burn and trauma care centre at Bhubaneswar would begin very soon. The 100-bed capacity advanced burn and trauma care centre will cater the high demand of the accident and trauma patients of the state as currently there is no such medical facilities are available. The Company has already appointed HOSMAC, an internationally reputed hospital designing and construction company for the primary evaluation and designing. Mr. Agarwal had committed the same during his last visit to Bhubaneswar in August 2009. This will be an additional hospital project that Vedanta has taken up, apart from the medical college and research center at Puri and a general Hospital at Jharsuguda.

5. Necessary study and project report for development of a Metal Park at Jharsuguda has been completed. The metal park will have about 100 medium and small scale industries, creating employment opportunity for 15000 people. “It will promote employment opportunities, besides encouraging entrepreneurship,” Mr. Agarwal said. Vedanta will also providehotmetals, electricity and technical expertise as well as R&D support.

6. On request of state government, Mr. Anil Agarwal also assures that Vedanta would build a hostel for newly Government Engineering College at Bhawanipatna to accommodate its students.

7. As a part of its continued focus on social responsibility, Vedanta will now focus on promoting art and culture of Orissa. Vedanta will take a special initiative now onwards to search the hidden talents across the state at grassroots level and nurture them through a proper training system.

About the Company:

Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) has set up a Greenfield Alumina Refinery in Orissa with a capacity of 1 Million tons per annum. It is also setting up a 0.5 MTPA Aluminum Smelter, 1215 MW Captive Power Plant. The Group Company Sterlite Energy Limited is also setting up a 2400 MW Independent Power Plants at Jharsuguda. VAL is one of the world’s premier alumina refining complex in terms of its technology, human resources and high quality infrastructure. VAL has built a high caliber team who are passionately contributing to the growth and efficiency of the organization.

For Further Query Contact

Mr. Bibek Chattopadhyay

Bibek.c@vedanta.co.in

Please visit our website at www.vedantaaluminium.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leave anti-development path

It is always being said that the people of Orissa are poor despite the land having rich natural resources. These resources are not being able to change the fate of the people of the State due to lack of proper utilization. During the tenure of Mr. Biju Patnaik as the Chief Minister, the Government took up steps to make the state industrially developed by investing a portion of the natural resources of the State. The process of industrialization kicked during this period to utilize the iron ores, manganese, chrome ores, limestone, dolomite and coal reserved in the State. The process still continues with the establishment of many mega and medium scale steel and aluminium industries and thermal power plants. The per capita income of the people of Orissa has also gone up as they have become the stakeholders in the process of development. With this, the infrastructures of the State have been developed and many steps are being taken up towards the development of education, agriculture and forest conservation. With the private business houses being partners in this development process, the lifestyle of the State has started to change. But industrial development of Orissa is not one-sided. The State Government, industrial houses and people of the land are making concerted efforts towards the progress of the State. Parallel efforts are also on in the field of the development of the tribals and people belonging to backward classes. They have been entitled with the Forest Rights and their productivity is being enhanced through development of education and healthcare facilities. But the process of including the tribals in this stream of development is being delayed due to the democratic nature of the procedure being followed. Taking this delay as an opportunity, some terrorist and leftist groups, voluntary organizations and people with vested interests have started movement against industrialization in the name of environment and displacement. It is unfortunate that while Amnesty International has taken the lead in this movement, some outfits like Chasi Mulia Sangha in Koraput are continuing agitations against land acquisition and protesting the industries in the name of R&R and land acquisition issues. But in real practice the rehabilitation and peripheral development of different industrial houses have contributed to further the socio-economic development of districts like Kalahandi, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur. The locals are being provided with new houses, schools, health centres, nutritious foods and midday meals. But the opponents of this development process are instigating the people by spreading negative information. While the process of change is changing the standard of living of the people, they are, on the other hand, are being misled. The innocent people are being organized against industrialization in the name of environment, traditional way of living and religion. While voluntary organizations like Amnesty International are misleading the locals against the proposed Dhamra Port Project, POSCO’s steel project, proposed thermal power project and aluminium project, the leftists and terrorist groups are taking the advantage of the situation and creating violence. There is a need of peaceful environment for the economic and social development. On the other hand, while the rehabilitation and resettlement programmes are being implemented with the consultation of the displaced, they are instigated to follow the path of violence. Considering the adverse effects of the Naxal and Maoist movements in the development process of the Eastern India , the Government of India has taken serious measures to handle the issue. While some terrorists have been arrested, some others have surrendered meanwhile. It is being expected that all the problems would be sorted out if they come forward for peaceful discussion leaving the path of violence. Time has come to choose the path of peace and progress. The groups who are instigating and misleading people against development should remember that one has to forego something to achieve something. Countries like USA , UK , Russia and China have attained development by realizing this truth. So, discussion to end all the controversies and disputes and peaceful resolution of all the issues would bring prosperity to Orissa and would enhance the strength of India .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Livelihood Skill Training for 300 tribal women in Niyamgiri

Vedanta Aluminium Limited, with an objective to provide improved livelihood support, has trained 300 women, mostly tribal on leaf-plate making and collective trading. All these women are all set to produce market standard leaf-plates on a mass scale. Out of the 300 women, 120 women are from Dongria Kondh, 90 from Kutia Kondh community. The rest 90 women are from Schedule Caste and other backward caste community.

As part of the 30 day training program, all these women also visited Bolangir and Bhawanipatna - nearby towns – in order to interact with various traders and leaf plate – makers as well as to gain knowledge of the business.

In order to promote livelihood of tribal women, the Company has launched ‘Project Jeebika’ in eight villages in the slope of the Niyamgiri Hill. About 50 Joint Livelihood Groups (JLG), comprising 300 enterprising women have been formed under this project. “Dongria Kondh Community is the focus of the project,” according to Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh. The project will also provide ‘door step’ marketing of the mass production of leaf-plates by the women. Each of the JLGs will also be given two sewing machines in order to stitch the leaf-plate for better price.

“Locally available Sal or Siali leaf, trained human resources and marketing support by Vedanta will ensure sustainability of the project as well as give a sustainable livelihood support to the tribal community”, adds Dr. Mukesh Kumar. The tribal women are also highly optimistic about their new found livelihood option after the training. “We may need not to go to wage work once this leaf-plate business starts”, says Anda Majhi, a Dongria Kondh woman from Khemdipadar. “Unlike before, we can earn more than Rs. 100/- per day sitting at home by making machine stitched leaf-plates”, says Radha Majhi of Balabhadrapur Village.

People from other neighboring area have also shown their interest for such training and intervention in their respective village. According to Dr. Mukesh Kumar, “Other villages will also be included in the project very soon. We are planning to making a hub for leaf-plates in Lanjigarh by making a federation of these enterprising women groups around Niyamgiri and replicating the success”.

Vedanta Aluminium has engaged SHAKTI Organisation, a local NGO to execute the “Project Jeebika” as an implementing partner. The villages covered in the project are Tadijhola, Hadaguda, Phuldumer, Khemdipadar, Trilochanpur, Kadamguda, Balabhadrapur and Semilibhatta under Lanjigarh Block of Kalahandi, Orissa (India).

The Alumina Refinery Unit of Vedanta has also successfully implemented several livelihood promotion programs, in order to provide better income and living for the tribal people in Lanjigarh. One of the most successful programs is Shashya Shilpa Abhiyan, in which the company provides support for vegetable cultivation by the tribals.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vedanta increases farmers’ income by 200%

Farmers in Lanjigarh area has proved that agriculture and industry can grow hand in hand. Unlike other farmers in their neighboring area, Farmers in Lanjigarh area have enhanced their household income by more than 200%. Thanks to the Shashya Shilpa Abhiyan, a sustainable livelihood promotion program, spearheaded by Vedanta Aluminium Limited, Lanjigarh in the areas.

Janak Sahu from Harekrushnapur village in Lanjigarh Block is one such farmer, who speaks the success of Shashya Shilpa Abhiyan. Prior to Vedanta, he, with his limited knowledge was practicing single crop (paddy) farming. The five acres of land, he owns, remained green for 120 to 140 days, in the Kharif season. Rest of the days in the year his land was left fallow and he has to go for daily labour to manage his family. His earning from agriculture was a paltry amount of Rs. 25,000/- a year. Same was case for most of the farmers in the locality.

It was a challenge for the CSR wing of Vedanta to ensure year round livelihood for average farming households and enhance their quality of life. The company adopted multifarious approaches, including training of farmers on benefit of commercially viable sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and managing irrigation by diverting the streams or by using water lift method, and integrated pest management. All agriculture guidance were provided free of cost. Materials help in terms seed, bio fertilizer and pesticides were also provided to the farmers.

Janak took advantage of the agriculture and livelihood promotion program by Vedanta. He participated in Training Sessions; Workshops organized by Vedanta and started practicing the modern and best agricultural techniques bringing into use quality seeds, organic fertilizers and other support. His irrigated land has increased from 0.75 acres to 5 acres. Regular monitoring, technical support rendered by VAL has helped him to increase the productivity of the land. This support by the Company motivated him and reaffirmed his faith with agriculture.

Unlike previous days, he started practicing double cropping along with vegetable cultivation in a large scale. His land remains green throughout the year. Now he earns about Rs. 80000/- a year.

Increased income has also enhanced his quality of life. He stresses on education of his young son and sends him to school regularly. He also owns a number of assets like electric connection, television, radio, etc in his house. He gives all the credit to Vedanta for the improved life. “Vedanta’s intervention has helped not only me but also other farmers in the area. With their support only I can now make a move from subsistence farming to commercial vegetable cultivation,” says Janak.

MOBILE HEALTH UNIT


An effort by Vedanta to bring the primary health care to the people’s doorstep


Primary Health Care at Lanjigarh previously was not like as it is now before the advent of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd there. The entire scenario witnessed a revolutionary change with the earnest effort of the Company.

This is what is clearly evident from the true version of Tudu Majhi of Khematipadar village who narrates about the medical facilities available in his village 1 year before and compares the same with the situation now. “Previously we used to visit the local ojhas and the quacks in case of illness because of our inability to purchase the medicines. Even we did not have faith in the medicines provided by the Government run Lanjigarh Primary Health Care Centre (PHC). Moreover, the bad condition of roads and lack of conveyance facilities made us inaccessible most of the time. Only in case of severe illnesses or when the quack could not heal any patient, such cases were taken to Lanjigarh hospital. If the patient’s condition became critical, then the patient had no other option but to die.” narrates Tudu.

He also added by saying that the situation started improving tremendously with the coming of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) in the area. Immediately after acquiring land, VAL started its community development programmes in the peripheral villages. Providing Primary Health Care to the people was at the top of the agenda considering the plight of the villagers. As the first step VAL started sending Mobile Health Unit (MHU) to all the peripheral villages with the objective of making health facilities available in remotest corners. One doctor accompanied by two pharmacists started moving from one village to another to treat the people and give free medicines to the needy ones. The villagers have stopped going to the ojhas any more. The MHU goes once in a week to each village and the needy people get the medicines at their doorstep.

Besides providing MHU to the peripheral villages of Lanjigarh VAL has also organized several health camps at the Government Hospital Lanjigarh "I am extremely happy that VAL, Lanjigarh is organizing so many health camps in the field and also inside Govt. Hospital, Lanjigarh such as Anti Natal Check up, Malaria Awareness camp, Infectious disease checks up camp. VAL has been coordinating with Government for various health programmes like pulse polio, Family Planning Operation Camp etc says Mr. Tunna Panigrahi the Pharmacist-Govt. Hospital, Lanjigarh.

Regular awareness camps are also organized through MHU team to make people aware on Government run health programmes and small family norms. All this has resulted in increased number of patients being treated by MHU and reduction in the number of fatalities. Malaria & Tuberculosis used to be the deadly disease earlier but now people have realized that these diseases are curable. There has been substantial reduction in the number of malarial cases and other diseases like scabies, viral fever etc. The medical staffs at Lanjigarh PHC are providing service on a regular basis have improved a lot. The villagers are oblieged to Vedanta for providing all the necessary medical facilities to them.