Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju has said that the government would take into consideration the feelings of the tribal people living in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district, before allowing mining of bauxite reserves.
At a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Balaraju denied reports that the State Tribal Advisory Council meeting had passed a resolution paving the way for mining in the agency areas. “Officials had given only a power point presentation on the issue and no decision was taken at the council meeting,” he said.
He made it clear that the sentiment of the tribal people was paramount for the government, before a decision was taken to allow mining.
It may be mentioned here that the Andhra Pradesh Mining Development Corporation (APMDC) and National Aluminium Company (Nalco) had given clearances for taking up bauxite mining. Jindal South West Holdings Ltd. and Ras al-Khaimah (Anrak Aluminium Ltd.) have signed agreements with the State government for setting up alumina project complexes in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts.
Public sector Nalco, which got three of the 10 mining blocks for prospecting, is also planning to set up an alumina refinery, smelter and co-generation plant near Visakhapatnam. Jindal and Anrak have already acquired lands for their alumina refineries.