Writes to Governor requesting him to exercise his constitutional powers to cancel permissions

Union Minister for Panchayat Raj and Tribal Affairs V. Kishore Chandra Deo has said he is still hopeful that bauxite mining licences issued in Visakhapatnam agency area will be cancelled.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for district Collectors of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas here on Saturday he said: “The Governor is also very much concerned about the havoc the bauxite mining is likely to play with the lives of ‘adivasis’ there.”

The Minister had written a letter to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan on April 7 requesting him to exercise his constitutional powers to cancel the permissions given for bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam as it was fuelling extremism there. The Governor referred the matter to the State government, he noted.

On the controversy over Polavaram project, the Minister said the project should come up at a site which would cause minimum damage to local habitat. “I am told some alternative designs are available. The government should examine such proposals, if they cause lesser damage”, the Union Minister felt.

Earlier, at the valedictory of the two-day workshop on working out strategies for development of LWE districts, Mr. Kishore Chandra Deo attributed the extremist problem to exploitation of forests by outsiders by snatching the rights of adivasis. It could be controlled to a large extent by recognising the rights of adivasis, he said.

“The problem will sustain as long as it’s seen as law and order problem,” he felt and said implementation of Forest Rights Act and Panchayats Extension of Scheduled Areas Act in their true spirit would help tackle the problem. The minister also presented degrees to fourth-batch students of Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Development Management course offered by National Institute of Rural Development.