Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam, May 13

THE Dandakaranya Liberation Organisation is opposed to the proposal of the State Government to allow the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation to undertake bauxite mining in the agency areas of Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts and permit Nalco (National Aluminium Company Ltd) to set up a smelter plant here.

At a press meet here on Thursday, Mr K. Dharma Roy, central council convener of the organisation, said the move would destroy the ecological system in the area and displace aborigines.

He alleged that irrigation projects taken up at Sileru, Machkund and Balimela had displaced several tribal families and that the tribals would not be lured by the promise of jobs made by the State Government.

Mr Roy cited the Supreme Court's judgement in the Samata versus the State of Andhra Pradesh case in the matter of laying a road from Nimmapadu to Damuku in the agency area. The court had held clearly that the tribals had the right to manage their own resources, he said.

Mr Roy said mining on a limited scale could be undertaken by the tribals themselves, if the Government formed an autonomous hill council under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

Mr Ch. Elaiah, co-convener, said the organisation would be left with no option but to move the court again, if the State Government did not heed to their plea.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2005)
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