Bauxite mines in Andhra Pradesh draw tribals` ire
Tribal residents of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, are preparing to protest a proposed smelting project that will affect five villages in the district. Despite a formal resolution against mining and smelting projects by the people, the Union environment ministry cleared two such projects in October and December 2007, and a third one is in the offing. The environmental impact assessments for the projects cleared are also a sore point among the Kondadora, Nokodora and Valmiki tribes.
They allege the smelting and mining units will lead to loss of livelihood. “We will lose our land, water and coffee plantations. I have nearly 3 hectares (ha) of coffee plantation and around 1.5 ha of silver oak. There is no way the smelting project can be allowed,” says Gemmala Bimala of Beesukuram village. The village is a part of 11 mandals (local administrative bodies above panchayats) that submitted the resolution to the state government.
The Eastern Ghats are a storehouse of bauxite