Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar has directed the management of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) to provide employment to one member of each tribal project displaced family within three months.
Mr. Manohar conducted a high level review meeting on a wide spectrum of issues concerning opencast mining with the SCCL’s Chairman and Managing Director Sutirtha Bhattacharya and other senior officials at the Yellendu guest house in Kothagudem on Monday.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Social Justice P Balram Naik, Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Minister for Horticulture R Venkat Reddy, Chairman of the A P Legislative Committee on Welfare of STs P Rajanna Dora, MLC P Sudhakar Reddy, Collector Siddharth Jain, and members of the Legislative Committees on Wild Life and Environment Protection, and Welfare of STs, among others.
A section of the members of the Legislative Committees reportedly expressed their concern over the ineffective implementation of various statutory provisions governing the welfare of displaced tribal families, development of the tribal habitations surrounding the opencast projects in the scheduled areas of the agency.
Some of them reportedly pointed out that the stipulated norms envisaged by the Supreme Court’s Samatha judgment and various tribal legislations were not being complied with in the letter and spirit by the company’s management.
Speaking to mediapersons in Kothagudem later in the day, Mr Manohar said appropriate steps would be initiated to ensure provision of employment to one member of each displaced tribal family in the SCCL within three months. Compliance to the spending of 20 percent net profit from mining projects in scheduled areas on tribal welfare activities, forestation and pollution control measures will be strictly monitored, he said asserting that the members of the Legislative Committees will strive to ensure improved relief and rehabilitation package for the displaced families of the opencast projects.
The company has to take up afforestation drive in a big way in the scheduled areas of the district in lieu of acquisition of forest land to an extent of 460 hectares in Palvancha division.
He mooted a proposal to upgrade the Kothagudem area hospital and asked the SCCL management to forward a proposal to the Central government for establishment of a medical college in the coal town. Mr Manohar visited an opencast project in Manuguru and interacted with the tribals at Ravigudem village in the same mandal late in the evening.