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Splitting the church

The City of London has received a planning application for the 'total demolition' of St Paul's Cathedral. The appeal has been lodged by ActionAid, an aid agency working in India, in protest at plans by a British firm to mine a mountain in Orissa.

The Niyamgiri mountain is sacred to the Kondh tribe, who believe it is home to the god Niyam Raja. In addition to affecting religious sensibilities, ActionAid claims that open cast mining there will result in the destruction of local ecosystems, causing deforestation and adversely affecting water sources.

'Just as Londoners wouldn't tolerate the demolition of their cathedral to make a quick buck, so the Kondh people won't allow their treasured mountain and forests to be destroyed' said a spokesperson.

The application coincides with the AGM of Vendata, the London-based mining company. It is hoped that their shareholders can avert the destruction.