ANDHRA PRADESH

OPDR opposes bauxite mining in tribal areas

Biodiversity will adversely affect, it says

A fact–finding committee of the Organization for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR) has said that bauxite mining in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam would adversely affect biodiversity and destroy forest cover.

OPDR general secretary V. Hanumantha Rao stated in a press release that bauxite mining in the area would also displace hundreds of tribal families, who are entirely dependent on forest produce. Displaced to another area, they would struggle to continue to lead their traditional lifestyles. Rivulets and streams in the region would be polluted by the red sludge that would emanate from the alumina processing units and pose danger to public health, he said. The committee also pointed out that lands in tribal areas cannot be transferred to non-tribal agencies as per a Supreme Court judgment in the Samata case. Mr. Hanumantha Rao stated the royalty paid to the State by mining companies would turn out to be paltry. The rights group said the existing bauxite mines in the country have more than enough reserves to meet the domestic requirement of alumina.. He appealed to the State Government to think twice before going ahead with its controversial decision.

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