'NIMBY' vs. 'BANANA' Is There a Way Out?



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Code : GOV0057

Year :
2011

Industry : Mining

Region : India

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Abstract: In rapidly developing economies, whenever large industrial projects are being set up, two extreme viewpoints have often to be reconciled – industry’s NIMBY (Not in my backyard) attitude versus some social activists’ position of BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone). A case in point is the bauxite mining project of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) at Niyamgiri in the Lanjigarh district of Odisha state in India

For ages, human beings have lived in harmony with nature. Man depended on nature for his needs but with time his needs increased and so did his demands. In this process, intentionally or unintentionally, he started exploiting nature. In this modern age, where development is the key word, and with the forests fast turning into concrete jungles, there is still one tribe that considers its culture more important than development. The Dongria Kondh tribe in Odisha is protesting against aluminum giant VAL which is planning to mine the Niyamgiri mountain for bauxite. The Kondhs revere this mountain as their god and to save it and retain their culture they have put up a fight against the company. With the Supreme Court issuing a stay on the mining and the Central Government also rejecting the company’s proposal to mine the hill, analysts wonder what Vedanta’s next move would be.

This case essentially juxtaposes two conflicting needs – i) the need for a rapidly growing economy for industrially important metals like aluminum (bauxite is an aluminum ore extensively used for extracting this metal); and ii) the need in this process to respect and protect the stakeholders involved. VAL’s project impinges on the culture and traditions of a numerically weak tribe who inhabit the area in which mining was to take place. For the decision maker, it boils down to choosing between development and tradition.

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Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To explore how difficult the resolution of ethical issues often is, especially when the decision maker has to balance the needs of different stakeholders in a developing economy.
  • To understand conflicts in decision making from the ethical & economic points of view
  • To expose students to the ethical dilemma


    Keywords : Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Mining,Vedanta VAL, Niyamgiri mountain, Projects, Tribals, Culture, Development, Protest, NGOs

    Contents :
    » Vedanta Aluminium Limited
    » VAL in Orissa
    » Niyamgiri Hills and the Dongria Kondh Tribe
    » Ptotest of the Dongria Kondh


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