Supreme Court to receive documents after validation by village councils

The deadline given by the Odisha government for compiling and verifying the forest rights claims of villagers on the Niyamgiri hills ended on Sunday. After the Supreme Court's April 18 order on forest clearance for Niyamgiri mining project, the state government had given six weeks' time for submission of forest, cultural and religious rights claims by Dongria Kondhs, a primitive tribe, residing in the hilly terrain.

With the dates for gram sabhas to decide the fate of Vedanta's plan to mine Niyamgiri hills drawing closer, tribals have intensified their campaign against the proposed move.

The Supreme Court on April 18 ordered the villagers be provided with basic forest rights in form of the land titles

A recent show on a local Doordarshan channel about Dongria Kondhs, indigenous people who inhabit the plateaus of the Niyamgiri hill ranges in Odisha, ended with a scene where a young member of a tribe throws away some rupee coins given by a government official, asks for a matchbox instead and quickly vanishes into the jungle.

The govt notification should be withdrawn and the people should be given free hand to conduct the gram sabhas

With the dates for holding of gram sabhas in villages on the Niyamgiri hill slopes approaching, various social organisations opposing the bauxite mining project there have intensified their protest over the issue.

Will decide the fate of bauxite extraction from the ecologically sensitive hills

The Odisha government has decided to go ahead with its previous decision to hold gram sabhas in 12 villages on the Niyamgiri hill slopes in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts to decide the fate of bauxite extraction from the ecologically sensitive hills.

Ignoring objections by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Odisha government on Friday announced dates for conducting Gram Sabhas in 12 villages of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts to decide

Heavy rainfall for the last three days has severely hit normal life in Odisha, particularly the southern parts, with at least three villages marooned in Kalahandi district.

The Dongria and Kutia Kondh tribals of Niyamgiri want palli sabha or gram sabha in all the villages that are going to be affected by Vedanta Aluminium's (VAL) mining project.

The world produces 4 billion tonnes of food every year, enough to feed its 7 billion people. Yet, every seventh person on earth sleeps hungry.

The district judges of Rayagada and Kalahandi will act as observers for the gram sabha that will take a decision on the fate of the Niyamgiri bauxite mining project of Vedanta Resources.