KOLKATA (miningweekly.com) – The newly elected government of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has rescinded an order issued by a previous government permitting bauxite mining along the Eastern Ghats around Vishakhapatnam.
By rescinding the bauxite mining order, the TSR Congress-led government, elected last month, met the demands of indigenous people, who for years had been opposing all mining operations in the forested Eastern Ghats.
“The government is not going to lose much by giving up bauxite mining. We do not want to take up mining that would create unrest among tribal communities. We want to restore peace in the area,” newly elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said in a statement.
The Chief Minister on Tuesday issued an order to all district officials and police to regularly visit the proposed mining sites to assure the local population and prevent armed ultra left wing extremists active in pockets from extending their influence and triggering violence by taking advantage of local anger against mining.
The opposition to bauxite mining across 1 212 ha across Vishakhapatnam district dates back to 2007 and even though several erstwhile governments had granted mining leases to Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation, the mining arm of the state government, a government order to commence mining operations could not be issued in the face of stiff direct action against mining by the local indigenous population.
The last government order permitting mining in and around Vishakhapatnam was issued in 2015 by the immediate previous Telegu Desam government, which lost the elections last month, and the rescinding the mining order was one of the first policy decision of the new government after assuming office.