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MLC MVS Sarma complained to President of India against Bauxite Mining


On a day when the state cabinet is meeting to take a view on going ahead on the mining of bauxite from the Agency area in Visakhapatnam district, an MLC from the district raised the banner of revolt. North Andhra Graduates Constituency MLC MVS Sarma complained to President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on the illegality of the mining of bauxite and its negative environmental fall out. First to revolt against the Bauxite was Giddi Eswari, MLA from Paderu in Agency. She has threatened to resign from Assembly if government were to chose to go ahead.

“The government is pursuing the mining activity in the Agency and in the process several laws meant to safeguard the rights of tribal population have been compromised," Sarma said in a letter dashed off to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. Andhra Pradesh cabinet is meeting on Monday to discuss the issue in the light of the growing opposition to the mining of bauxite. According to a senior minister, chief minister Naidu has in principle has decided to go ahead on the project as it is an assured source of revenue to the government, which embarked on massive projects such as capital Amaravati construction, airports, industrial corridors etc.

He said Monday's cabinet might not take a decision in haste to start the mining immediately. " The government is planning to take up an awareness creation campaign on the project. For this CM wants to release a white paper. The cabinet may approve of the decision to release a white paper," the minister said. Questioning the legal and constitutional validity of the GO issued on November 5, diverting 1,212 hectares of forest land for bauxite mining by the AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC), MLC Sarma urged the President not to approve of the GO that was issued in the name of the Governor. “Article 244 (1) of the Constitution, says that the Constitution stipulates that the Governor should seek advice of the Tribal Advisory Council before issuing any order relating to tribal area under Schedule V. Before the GO was issued, the Governor should have directed the government to constitute the TAC, and sought its permission. No such action had been taken, " Sarma said.

The MLC said the Ministry of Tribal Affairs issued a memo in September 2012 cancelling the mining lease issued to the APMDC. Since the order had not been revoked or modified, he argued, the clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for mining now was illegal. Ministry of environment and forest has reportedly fast tracked the proposal of the government of Andha Pradesh seeking environmental clearance to the project.

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