TDP president threatens to launch agitation if projects are not cancelled

Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday said his party would launch a fresh agitation if the government did not cancel the bauxite mining deals signed with Jindal and Ras Al-Khaimah.

He made this announcement here after visiting the Galikonda and Raktakonda bauxite mining sites near this hill station, about 120 km from Visakhapatnam. Mr. Naidu also visited the Agency areas of the district and launched a frontal attack on the Central and the State governments for indulging in corrupt deals.

‘No transparency'

On arrival, Mr. Naidu was accorded a rousing reception by tribals. Addressing them after he was greeted by Dhimsa dancers, he ridiculed the Centre's decision to suspend bauxite mining leases pending detailed evaluation following allegations on its adverse impact on the environment while going ahead with land acquisition for mining. He said the deals lacked transparency as there were no global tenders. “All these deals smacked of corruption as they were signed from the backdoor,” he alleged.

Jindal and Anrak Aluminium Ltd, floated by RAK and Penna Group, are planning to invest nearly Rs.15,000 crores in two alumina refinery and smelter plants in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts.

Environmentalists say the projects will endanger rare and important flora and fauna like Indian Gaur, bird species like Athera Belwetti, golden gecko and others due to the disturbance to their natural habitat and dry up hill streams supplying water to the rivers in the plains.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly said the government should not take up any project ignoring the resolutions adopted at gram sabhas.

He said tribals' livelihood would be ruined if bauxite mining was taken up.

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