Vedanta under scrutiny as 100 feared dead at aluminium plant
Friday 25 September 2009
The safety policies of the London-listed mining giant Vedanta Resources are set to come under scrutiny after an accident at one of its sites in India killed as many as 100 people on Wednesday. The group has already been blacklisted by some investors over ethical and environmental concerns.
The death toll is expected to rise after a chimney collapsed at an aluminium plant in which Vedanta has a 51 per cent stake through its subsidiary Sterlite Industries. Sterlite is the builder at the site in Korba, in the central India state of Chhattisgarh.
An investigation is expected, but initial reports blamed bad weather. However, Rajeev Sharma, the south Asian head of the Building and Woodworkers' International union, said that the accident was bad, even by India's poor safety standards: "It is one of the worst accidents in India's recent construction history," he said.
Vedanta, which claims to benefit from "relatively low cost of operations and large and inexpensive labour and talent pools", expressed regret but declined to comment further.
The accident follows several embarrassing incidents for Vedanta. In 2007, the Norwegian state pension fund sold its shares, saying that being an investor would present an "unacceptable risk of contributing to severe environmental damage and serious or systematic violations of human rights".
Survival International, which promotes the rights of tribal peoples, also alleges a bauxite mine intended for the Niyamgiri mountain in India's Orissa state will destroy local forests, while the mountain itself is considered sacred by local tribes. Vedanta says it is committed to the best international standards.
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Ten best places to live in the UK: Hart in Hampshire takes top spot
'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with institutional client serv...