MAC: Mines and Communities

India update

Published by MAC on 2007-06-06

India update

Villagers not ready to part with fertile lands; Public hearing held on Jindal alumina plant

Special Correspondent, The Hindu

6th June 2007

VISAKHAPATNAM: "We have turned waste lands into most fertile fields. We don't part with them even if we are offered Rs. 50 lakhs for an acre," asserted M. Krishna of Gavarapalem.

"We are opposing the factory (Jindal group's alumina refinery and cogeneration plant) since the beginning. Let them come to take our fields, we are ready with chilli powder and fight till the end," thundered Yerukulamma. "Do they want to build the factory? It is only over our dead bodies", said Boddta Adilakshmi a middle aged woman from Gavarapalem.

These were some of the reactions from the farmers and women of Moola Boddavara, Cheedipalem, Kiltampalem, China Khondepalli and Mushidpalli villages whose lands are being planned to be acquired to set up the alumina refinery, at a public hearing conducted by the AP Pollution Control Board at this village on Monday.

Earlier representatives of the political parties and people's organisations came out strongly against the refinery. Chodavaram MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao of Telugu Desam, who mobilised many farmers to the public hearing after criticising the officials for not following the procedure like making available the detailed environment impact report in Telugu to the farmers, asserted that the farmers would fight for the Raiwada water for their fields. "Why do you want to set up the refinery when the farmers, Girijans and the people in general here do not want it. You can not go against their wish", he said. Vice-president of AP Rytu Sangham Bendi Tulasi Das and others found many discrepancies in the environment impact report. CPI (M) * leader Ch. Narasinga Rao said the differing statements of officials and Minister bared the malafide intentions of the Government.

G. Srinivas of Samata organisation said the bauxite mining would destroy water sources and the pollution caused by the refinery here would adversely affect the environment.

CPI (M) Vizianagaram secretary M. Krishna Murthy, CPI secretary Kameswara Rao, ex-MLAs Reddy Satyanarayana and Military Naidu, local farmers and women, Girijans from Visakha agency area opposed the proposal to exploit bauxite and for setting up the refinery here.

* CPI - Communist Party of India; CPI (M) - Communist Party of India (Marxist)


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