‘AP govt should scrap GO, bury bauxite mining proposal’

Ch. R S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 18, 2015

The Andhra Pradesh Government should immediately scrap the GO permitting bauxite mining in the agency area (eastern ghats) of Visakhapatnam district and give an assurance to the Girijans in the area that the proposal would not be revived, according to several speakers at a seminar on the impact of bauxite mining organised by People for India and the Uttarandhra Abhivriddi Vedika here on Wednesday.

The AP Government issued the controversial GO on Nov. 5 and, following a huge controversy and public outcry, decided to keep it in abeyance on Monday in Vijayawada at the State Cabinet meeting.

Prof K.V Ramana, the former vice-chancellor of Andhra University, who presided over the meeting, said nothing should be done against the wishes of the Girijans in the area and a thorough environment impact assessment study and social impact study should be undertaken before even mooting the proposal.

"The explanation given by the State Government on how the controversial GO was issued is intriguing, to say the least. For the time being, the State Government seems to have beaten a strategic retreat. But the proposal should not be revived, unless the issues raised by the activists, the Girijans and the general public are addressed in earnest," he said.

P.V Ramana, the district secretary of the Civil Liberties Association, said bauxite mining would ruin the livelihood of Girijans in the eastern ghats, cause extensive damage to the flora and fauna in the region and also lead to the contamination of the hill streams and rivulets. Several others spoke in the tenor, urging the State Government to scrap the GO.

There was, however, a lone dissenting voice in Dr. Krishna Rao, who said that bauxite and laterite did not contain any toxic material and they could be mined, using modern technology, causing no damage to the environment or the livelihood of tribals. The ore could be transported in a safe manner and there may be some pollution in processing the ore, but it could be greatly mitigated. Therefore, blind opposition to the proposal may not be correct, he said.

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Published on November 18, 2015
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