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Ensure scrapping of bauxite mining leases, PDF urges Governor

Special Correspondent
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MLC M.V.S. Sarma
MLC M.V.S. Sarma

Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) floor leader in Legislative Council M.V.S. Sarma has urged Governor E.S.L. Narasmihan to exercise powers under V Schedule of the Constitution to safeguard the interests of tribals and ensure that Centre’s order cancelling bauxite mining leases granted to the APMDC was strictly complied with immediately.

In a letter to the Governor signed by Mr. Sarma and other members of PDF, pointed out that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs had directed the State government on September 28, 2012 through an office memorandum to cancel mining leases for bauxite in Visakhapatnam immediately.

The direction was issued by the Union government by virtue of the powers vested in it vide clause 3 of V Schedule to the Constitution. The State government preferred not to honour the direction of the Centre so far, the letter regretted.

Mr. Sarma, who raised the issue in the Council during the just-concluded budget session, told reporters on Thursday that the State government was treading along a line of confrontation with the Centre ignoring the genuine concern of project affected tribals over the threat to the environment and livelihood.

He said the government sometime ago sought time stating that they would take a decision after submission of Kala Committee. The panel submitted its report in December, 2012 in which it pointed out that approval of Grama Sabhas for giving mining leases was a must along with approval by the Tribal Advisory Committee.Mr. Sarma dubbed as a ‘fraud’ the government contention that TAC approval was not required as it had been obtained during 1999.

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