HYDERABAD: In a surprise move, the TDP, which had opposed bauxite mining in the agency areas of Visakhapatnam district when it was in the opposition, is now rooting for the same.
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat here Friday, AP Minister for Mines & Geology Peethala Sujatha said if the Centre grants permission to the State to take up bauxite mining in the Visakhapatnam agency areas, the government would discuss the issue with the locals. “If permission is granted, the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation will take up bauxite mining in a joint venture,” she said. Replying to a question, the Minister claimed her party has not changed its policy on bauxite mining and was only looking at the possibility of mining in the agency areas, that too after taking permission from the Centre and the local tribal population.
She said her department has set a target of `1238 crore revenue through mineral mining and during July and August, revenue of `128.67 crore was collected as against the target of `177.44 crore. The minister said her department issued 47 mining licenses in the last two months.
On sand mafia, she said the decision to allocate sand mining contracts to Dwcra groups was aimed at checking illegal quarrying of sands and paving the way for financial prosperity of women’s groups. “Women members of Dwcra groups can square up to the powerful forces in sand mining,” she said.
Sujatha, who also holds the women and child welfare portfolio, said 902 complaints were registered under the Domestic Violence Act in the last three months.