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Manikya Varaprasad opposes bauxite mining in tribal areas

Visakhapatnam, April 22 (INN): Rural Development Minister D Manikya Varaprasad on Sunday said that he was opposed to the bauxite mining in the tribal region bordering Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

Talking to reporters here, the minister said that the bauxite mining would have an adverse impact on the environment besides causing intrusion into the culture and livelihood of tribals living in the region. He compared the bauxite mining to sale of human organs. "Even human organs could fetch money, if sold to the needy. As we don't sell our organs, we should not allow the bauxite mining in the tribal region," he said.

It may be mentioned that Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj V Kishore Chandra Deo has recently written a letter to Governor ESL Narasimhan asking him to exercise his executive powers to stop the bauxite mining in the tribal region.

In his letter, Deo said pointed out that as per the Alienation of Land Transfer Act to protect the rights of Scheduled Tribes living in Schedule V areas, a non-tribal person could not be allowed to purchase or even lease a piece of land in the region. However, in violation of the SLTR Act, he alleged that the State Government had inked Memorandums of Understanding with several corporations for mining of the precious bauxite.

Those opposition the bauxite mining claim that it would destroy the sources of three rivers - Gosthani, Champavathi and Sarada - which originate from the region. These rivers are the main sources of irrigation in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts and also provide water to the Tatipudi and Raivada reservoirs, which supply drinking water to the two districts.

After Deo's letter, Manikvara Prasad's opposition to the bauxite mining is bound to create problems for the State Government which has already signed MoUs with the private and public sector companies for bauxite mining. (INN)

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