MAC: Mines and Communities

Parties join hands against bauxite mining move in agency area

Published by MAC on 2007-06-12

Parties join hands against bauxite mining move in agency area

Staff Reporter , The Hindu

12th June 2007

* Plan meeting with representatives of tribals on future course of action

* Public interest litigation will be filed, says TDP MLA

* CPI wants TDP to be consistent in its approach

VISAKHAPATNAM: Opposition parties came together to chalk out an action plan opposing bauxite mining in the agency area of the district citing overwhelming opposition to setting up of a refinery at a recent public hearing. Representatives of TDP, CPI and BJP were present. Leaders of the CPI(M) could not attend the meeting as there was a protest in the agency.

Addressing the media on Monday, TDP MLA from Chodavaram, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, said that coordinated efforts would be made by involving people from the plains and the tribal area as both of them would be affected by the mining.

A meeting with representatives of tribals would be conducted to discuss future course and a public interest litigation would be filed.

He wanted the government to answer questions on whether mining would affect water sources in the agency, impact on wildlife, highly water consumptive nature of the industry and the water contamination because of fly ash and slurry produced in the processing.

TDP demand

The MLA also wanted the government to make it clear whether Raiwada water would be given to farmers and questioned the action of the GVMC Commissioner assuring water to the refinery without taking the council into confidence.

Former minister and TDP (rural) president Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy wanted a public hearing to be held in Araku. The TDP would take up protests in the agency and stay put there, he said and warned of a `Nandigram-like' situation if the government went ahead with mining. He recalled that the TDP government dropped the proposal for mining after it was opposed in the Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) meeting. CPI district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy said the party had been opposing the mining and wanted the TDP to be consistent in its approach. Chintapalli MLA G. Demudu accused Commercial Taxes Minister Konathala Ramakrishna of not keeping his word on conducting an all-party meeting.

Tribals were ready for an attack if mining was taken up, he warned. J. Pridhviraj of BJP criticised the double standards of the Congress in favouring mining here and opposing it in Orissa and accused it of being hand in glove with the Jindals.

TDP (urban) president C.M.A. Zaheer Ahmed said the party would agitate against the decision to supply water by the municipal corporation. Samata executive director Ravi Rebbapragada made a presentation on the high water consumption of the industry and environmental impact.

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