Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy hints at a possible change in mining policies

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has put the ball in the court of the Centre on the bauxite mining issue. When his attention was drawn to the bandh organised against mining during his visit to the Agency areas, he quipped: “Where was it organised?”

When told that except in Paderu, the bandh was observed in other parts of the Agency, he said that the AP Mineral Development Corporation was issuing mining leases. The issue was under the purview of the Centre and hinted at a possible change in mining policies. “We have to wait and see,” he added.

On the problems being faced by the 33 IT companies in the IT SEZ at Madhurawada, he said that the government was committed to the promotion of industry. He promised to look into the issue when they come with a written representation. On the drinking water problem being faced by fishermen at Chepalauppada village, he said that an assessment would be done and measures would be taken to alleviate the same.

Railway zone

On the demand for a separate railway zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said that he was with the people in their demand. “I have already spoken to the Railway Minister on the issue. The contention of the East Coast Railway was that the zone will become uneconomical, if Waltair Division was delinked from ECoR. They were asked to look at the possibility of adding other divisions. I will look into the matter,” he said.

On the issue of Simhachalam lands, he said that the court was expected to come out with a judgment in the first week of January. The MLAs concerned and officials of the Endowments and Legal Department would sit together to find a solution to the problem. On the Visakhapatnam Institute of Medical Sciences, he said that Rs.30 crore was already sanctioned by the government. When the authorities submit a report on the amount that would be spent by March-end, the funds would be released. The remaining amount would be released in the next budget.

He said iron ore mines would be sanctioned to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP). The VSP has taken up an expansion programme with an estimated investment of Rs.22,000 crore. It would also generate jobs, he added.

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