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Refinery: all-party team puts State on notice

Published by MAC on 2007-08-31

Refinery: all-party team puts State on notice

Staff Reporter, The Hindu

31st August 2007

* Launches indefinite relay hunger strike
* Threatens of bloodbath, if the deal is not scraped
* The project costs Rs. 9,000 crores

VISAKHAPATNAM: The all-party team which launched an indefinite hunger strike at Makavaripalem, about 70 km. from here on Thursday, served an ultimatum to the State Government to either scrap the memorandum of understanding signed with Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) for setting up an aluminium refinery and smelter or face bloodbath.

Peeved at the reported statement of Joint Collector Veerabrahmaiah on Wednesday that they would go ahead with land acquisition, leaders belonging to various parties declared that come what may, they would not allow a single inch to be acquired for the project being set up by RAK, a member of UAE, at a cost of Rs.9,000 crores.

MLAs Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu (TDP) and G. Demudu (CPI) , CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao, Congress leader D.V.S. Raju, BJP leader Somnath Srinivas, local ZPTC R. Seshu Kumar and Samata activist Srinivas took part.

Mr. Patrudu alleged that the Congress Government was keen on acquiring the land after putting an unofficial ban on registrations and wondered how authorities would acquire the land when local people were totally against it.

No clearance obtained

The RAF Government which signed the MoU early this year, has sought 2,600 acres in Makavaripalem mandal for establishing a refinery with an initial capacity of one million tonnes. It wanted to receive bauxite ore from the nearby agency area through a pipeline.

Mr. Demudu said the Government was in a hurry to acquire land for the project notwithstanding the fact that for RAF's refinery in Makavaripalem as well as Jindal's in S.Kota mandal, no clearances had been obtained. He said the Government was trying to circumvent the apex court order on enforcing Section 1 of 70, Tribal Land Transfer (prevention) Act in the scheduled areas.

Srinivas of Samata said the Supreme Court had clearly stated that only the Government or its instrumentalities or the tribals themselves by forming into a cooperative society could explore the mineral resources in the scheduled areas. However, now there was an attempt to negate it by digging bauxite by AP Mineral Development Corporation with indirect support from Jindal and RAK, he pointed out.

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