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Tribal welfare body bans bauxite mining in Andhra

The decision by the AP Tribes Advisory Council not to allow bauxite mining in the Vizag Agency might be the last nail in the coffin for the long-pending controversial issue in this part of the state. The Council passed a unanimous resolution on Tuesday banning bauxite mining.

Cancellation of lease licences given to APMDC to mine bauxite and the MoUs the state agency had signed with private companies for the supply of the mined ore had led to a standoff between the government and  Union tribal welfare minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo.

A high-level committee set up by the Union ministry of environment and forests to study the socio-economic and ecological impacts of the proposed bauxite mining in Vizag Agency in 2011, had recommended going ahead but only after getting approval from the AP Tribes Advisory Council.

The four-member committee headed by former director general of forests  J.C. Kala was appointed after the mining proposal had come under bitter criticism.

“It’s high time that the state government cancelled the MoUs it had signed with the private companies on moral grounds as the Tribes Advisory Council unanimously resolved disallowing bauxite mining,” said tribal rights and anti mining activist, G. Srinivas.

The objective of the AP Tribes Advisory Council is to advise the Governor in the matters pertaining to welfare and advancement of Scheduled Tribes. No regulation shall be made on the issues related to tribals unless the Governor consults the Council.

Source: Deccan Chronicle