Environmental activist and Delhi-based lawyer V. Shruti Devi has opposed bauxite mining by the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation in the scheduled areas of North Andhra.
In a chat with The Hindu, Ms. Shruti Devi, daughter of Araku MP and senior Congress leader V. Kishore Chandra Deo, said as the tribals were opposed to mining, the authorities should cancel all the agreements signed to extract bauxite ore from the hills and supply the mineral to alumina refineries.
“We are opposed to mining because it will affect the livelihood of tribals and displace them. For that matter, I am opposed to all the projects which displace tribals,” she pointed out. Mr. Kishore Chandra Deo had earlier raised his concern at mining agreements.
Excerpts from an e-mail conversation with Ms. Shruti Devi:
Q: What is your opinion of the concern expressed by tribals over proposed mining of bauxite ore by APMDC for supply to Anrak Aluminium Ltd and Jindal South West Aluminium for their alumina refineries?
A: I am extremely concerned about the proposed projects for mining bauxite, and the setting up of smelter and refinery plants in the area.
Do you support the demand of a section of environmentalists and social activists for cancellation of mining agreements?
I support the demand of the local people for cancellation of the mining agreements. However, I would not, at this stage, support any proposal to create legal zones supposedly for wildlife conservation as I feel this would also endanger our peoples' natural habitat. It would undermine the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, and it would be in the absence of an appropriate resettlement law.
If yes, what is the action being taken to implement it?
I have been recently given to understand that demands to halt the projects have been met, and that there will be no bauxite mining or related activities in the areas from now on.
Keywords: Environmental concern