Normal life was affected during a bandh observed at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district on Friday demanding provision of bauxite mining facilities to Vedanta for smooth running of its alumina plant.

During the shutdown, called by Lanjigarh Anchalika Bikas Parishad (LABP), local inhabitants took out rallies and staged demonstrations in support of their demand.

Shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic was disrupted due to the bandh, official sources said.

Leaders of the Parishad said though Vedanta’s alumina refinery was set up at Lanjigarh ten years ago, the company was now struggling for existence due to non-availability of Bauxite mine.

President of the Parishad, Sridhar Pesnia alleged that despite an MoU between VAL and Odisha government for provision of Bauxite mine through Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to run this plant, not a grain of ore was made available to the plant, causing apprehension about closure of the refinery.

The company is managing to get Bauxite ore from outside the State and country but it is highly expensive. Stage one environment clearance was accorded for mining in Niyamgiri, but stage 2 environment clearance was refused.

He demanded that Bauxite be made available from any source to the plant for the running of the plant and to revive the economy of the area.