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  Oct 18, 2023

Eastern Ghats

The Mining Debate in Odisha: Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental and Social Costs


The government of Odisha has been auctioning bauxite mining sites to private companies like Vedanta and Adani Group. While this move promises economic growth, it raises grave concerns about environmental sustainability and social impact, particularly affecting the tribal communities living in the area for generations.

Key Issues

Environmental Concerns: Mining in Odisha's bauxite-rich area may result in deforestation, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

Social Costs: The tribal communities, especially Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), are faced with displacement and loss of livelihood.

Legal and Human Rights Issues: Incidents of arrests and application of severe criminal charges against villagers opposing the mining have occurred.

Economic Gains

Mining could contribute to the State and Central government exchequers and promises to generate employment. However, there's a counter-argument that areas rich in minerals have not shown significant improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the residents.

The Aluminium Market

Post-pandemic, the global demand for aluminium has risen. Experts suggest that with increasing developmental activities, especially in India and southeast Asian nations, the demand for aluminium will further escalate.

The State of Odisha holds 41% of the country’s bauxite reserves. This makes the region extremely important in the context of aluminium production, but it also raises crucial questions about the balance between economic development, environmental conservation, and social justice.

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