Union minister for tribal welfare and panchayat raj Vyricherla Kishore Chandra Deo on Friday shot off a letter to chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy directing him to cancel bauxite mining leases.
The Union minister explained to the chief minister that areas where mining leases were permitted are in the scheduled area.
As per the Alienation of Land Transfer Regulation (ALTR), non-tribals are prohibited from purchasing land or obtaining land leases in the scheduled areas.
Kishore Chandra Deo said “There are issues arising from the environmental impact of the proposed mining since the mining of bauxite ore in Visakhapatnam will destroy the sources of three rivers Gosthani, Champavati and Sarada which are main sources of irrigation in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts.
In fact, these three rivers also provide water for Tatipudi and Raivada reservoirs which supply drinking water to Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.
All these will be affected by these mining activities.Further, the MoUs signed for mining are in total contravention and blatant violation of the constitutional safeguards laid in the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.”
He said mining activities in the areas would adversely affect tribals of the scheduled areas by way of land alienation, dislocation and harassment arising from loss of habitat and livelihood.
“Under these circumstances, I am directing the state government of Andhra Pradesh under Clause 3 of the Fifth Schedule to Constitution to cancel the mining leases to APMDC and report compliance,’’ the Union tribal welfare minister concluded in his letter.