Tribals to spearhead movement against bauxite miningPublished by MAC on 2005-08-05
Friday, August 05, 2005
Correspondent: Santosh Patnaik, The Hindu
G.K. VEEDHI (VISAKHAPATNAM DT): Slogans like "Jaraga nivvam, bauxite tavvakalu jaraga nivvam'' (we will not allow digging of bauxite) rent the air as a motley crowd of 500 girijans braving intermittent rain attended a meeting here on Thursday to mark valedictory of 15-day padayatra by the Andhra Pradesh Girijan Sangham (APGS).
Even as the entire agency belt is under the grip of malaria and viral fever, the tribals attended the meeting and vowed to launch an agitation against the agreement signed by the State Government with the Jindal Group to allow establishment of an alumina plant in Visakhapatnam district at a cost of Rs. 9,000 crores.
During the 300 km.-long padayatra by a 20-member team of APGS in 16 panchayats covering 120 villages, village protection committees were formed to sensitise girijans to thwart the move to take up mining in the bauxite-rich agency area.
The APGS along with local NGOs will launch the second phase of padayatras in Anantagiri and Araku mandals from August 13.
"Bauxite excavation in the hills will make our agriculture fields barren making our hill streams dry. The move will displace us,'' Ganella Ganapati, who heads Dharmavaram Village Protection Committee, told The Hindu.