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Andhra Pradesh disallows bauxite ore mining

Announcing this at a conference of IPS officers in Amaravati, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said the controversial government order (GO No. 97) issued by the previous N Chandrababu Naidu regime on November 5, 2015 allowing the mining would be scrapped immediately.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2019 21:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HYDERABAD
Andhra Pradesh,YSR Congress,YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
YSR Congress party government in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday decided not to allow mining of bauxite ore in the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam district. (Photo by Sudipta Banerjee)

The YSR Congress party government in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday decided not to allow mining of bauxite ore in the Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam district, in an attempt to check unrest among tribal communities that have been strongly opposing the mining.

Announcing this at a conference of IPS officers in Amaravati, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said the controversial government order (GO No. 97) issued by the previous N Chandrababu Naidu regime on November 5, 2015 allowing the mining would be scrapped immediately.

The GO had permitted AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) to take up bauxite mining in 1,212 hectares spread over 13 stretches in Chintapalli and Gudem Kotha Veedhi revenue blocks in Visakhapatnam district. But the government put the order in abeyance following protests by local tribals and environmentalists.

“The government is not going to lose much by giving up bauxite mining. We do not want to take up mining that would create unrest among tribal communities. We want restoration of peace in the area,” CM Reddy said.

He asked the police officials to win the confidence of the tribals and ensure that their rights are not infringed upon. “Keep visiting the tribal areas...and attend to their issues. We need to ensure that the tribals do not get influenced by Maoists (on the Andhra-Odisha border),” he said.

Bauxite mining has been a major reason for tribal unrest in the forest areas of Visakhapatnam for over a decade. In 2007, the then Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, headed by YS Rajasekhar Reddy, gave mining leases to the APMDC in 1,876 hectares of forest area in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts. Also in 2007, the APMDC entered into agreements with Jindal South-West Limited and ANRAK (a company from Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates) for supply of bauxite ore for setting up of alumina refineries. While ANRAK got an alumina refinery project at Makavaripalem in Visakhapatnam district, Jindal South-West Limited won an alumina refinery near Srungavarapukota in Vizianagaram district.

However, the local tribals -- Bhagata, Gond, Konda Reddi and Samantha -- opposed the bauxite mining proposal.

First Published: Jun 25, 2019 21:54 IST