Tribals fear revival of mining in Kalyanapulova

Laying of road sparks concern

August 05, 2021 01:16 am | Updated 07:58 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Farmers from Kottakota in Ravikamatam mandal in the district taking out a protest rally in the village demanding action against illegal granite mining in the catchment area of Kalyanapulova Reservoir in 2019

Farmers from Kottakota in Ravikamatam mandal in the district taking out a protest rally in the village demanding action against illegal granite mining in the catchment area of Kalyanapulova Reservoir in 2019

Tribals living in the Kalyanapulova reservoir area in Ravikamatam mandal are a worried lot, as they fear that the mining activity that was stopped a few months ago after a sustained fight, might revive once again.

After visiting the area on Wednesday, P.S. Ajay Kumar, general secretary of AIARLA (All India Agricultural Rural Labour Association), said that a new road was being laid and he alleged that it was being done by the mining companies to facilitate their mining activity without obtaining the necessary permissions from authorities concerned. For the past few years, the tribals have been campaigning for the revocation of mining permits in the Kalyanapulova reservoir catchment area, which irrigates about 5,000 acres. About 20,000 farm workers from ten major panchayats in the Ravikamatam zone depend on the reservoir for farming.

“Road construction on agricultural land requires the RDO’s approval. A new Revenue Survey No. 84 has been created in the reserve forest illegally, to facilitate mining,” Mr. Ajay Kumar alleged.

Mr. Ajay Kumar also alleged that all these activities have resumed after the officers, including the earlier ITDA project officer, who had taken up the issue seriously, were transferred.

The tribals pointed out that the mining site is bordering the reservoir catchment area.

If mining begins here, the streams from the hills into the reservoir will be blocked and the cashew plantations of tribals will be damaged, they said.

For every 100 tonnes of stone mined by the mining companies, about 80 tonnes of waste is generated, which is pushed into the reservoir, the tribals pointed out.

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