Special Correspondent

Efforts on to get nod for Anrak alumina refinery

Ruling party making efforts to get nod for the refinery

TDP leader Ayyanna Patrudu likely to take part in it

VISAKHAPATNAM: Policemen in large numbers, including armed personnel and teargas squads, have been deployed at Rachapalli in Makavarapalem mandal where a public hearing will be held on the Anrak Alumina Limited’s proposed alumina refinery and aluminium plant on Saturday.

The security arrangements are on a high scale and an area of about 10 feet in the radius in front of the stage is made a no-man zone with a wire mesh erected around it.

Taking no chances

The government is taking all steps to prevent any trouble at the public hearing and the ruling party is reportedly making efforts to get a nod for the alumina refinery and aluminium plant in the face of opposition from the people and the opposition parties. For the last few weeks police camps have been functioning in the five villages which will be affected by the refinery and enquiries are being made about the visitors to the village.

There is a likelihood of the police preventing those opposing the refinery from attending the public hearing. Heavy security for the public hearing might also be in anticipation of some trouble from the CPI (Maoist) which is opposing the bauxite mining in Visakha Agency area and the alumina refineries. It also lost four of its members in an encounter with the police 10 days ago.

Superintendent of Police Akun Sabharwal along with Joint Collector M. Veerbrahmaiah visited Rachapalli on Friday and inspected the arrangements being made.

It has to be seen what the Telugu Desam Party will do at the public hearing. Its senior leader and local MLA Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu has returned from a foreign trip and is expected to attend the public hearing.

Objections raised

The mines, minerals and People (MM and P), a national alliance of mining affected communities and workers, sent a letter to the Secretary to Union Ministry of Environment and Forests raising objections to the Anrak project.

There were many technical as well as social flaws in the environment assessment impact report on the project and the MM and P strongly opposed the project and the public hearing, said its chairperson Ravi Rebbapragada.

Water diversion

The organisation is of the view that the proposal to divert 10 MGD of water from GVMC to the alumina refinery will badly affect the consumer in the GVMC area and has asked how the refinery could be built before the bauxite is extracted.

It points out that in the Vedanata case of Orissa, the Centrally Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court strongly objected to the setting up of a refinery before mineral is extracted and the situation is the same in the case of Anrak as there is no clearance for mining of bauxite in the Scheduled Area of Visakha Agency for the plant.