In a blow to the Odisha government’s plan for bauxite mining for Vedanta on the Niyamgiri hills,the 12th and last gram sabha in Rayagada district also rejected it on Monday.
At a village level meeting held at Jarapa village in Muniguda block,12 persons,including six women and six men from eight families,unanimously rejected the proposal,official sources said.
The participants were of the view that mining would severely affect their socio-cultural and religious rights over Niyamgiri area as they considered the hills as their presiding deity.
Rayagada district judge Sarat Chandra Mishra attended the meeting as observer.
The state government held gram sabhas in 12 villages of Niyamgiri according to the April 18 order of the Supreme Court which gave residents in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts the right to decide whether they supported bauxite mining on Niyamgiri hills.
Of the 12 gram sabhas,five were held in Kalahandi district and seven in Rayagada in villages inhabited by the Dangaria,Jharania and Kutia Kandha tribes.