Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh government cancelled the mining lease for bauxite in Chintapalli in Visakhapatnam agency. In an order issued on Thursday, it revoked the contract granted to Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) in an extent of 460 hectares in Jarrela Block of Chintapalli-III. The mining lease was granted for 30 years.

The CPM, CPI and Tribal Organisations hailed the government’s decision. The YSR government’s commitment towards the cancellation of bauxite mining has given significant relief to the tribals, they added. They also demanded CM Jagan to cancel all mining activities in the Vizag region to save the Eastern Ghats and livelihood of the tribals.

YS Rajasekhara Reddy government had granted a lease for bauxite mining in the agency in an area of 1,162 hectares in three different orders in 2007. The third order permitted APMDC for an extent of 460 hectares. Later, the government had entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ras Al Khaimah for the construction of an alumina refinery and smelter in Visakhapatnam agency.

In pursuance to this MoU, ANRAK Aluminium Ltd (Anrak) was incorporated under the laws of India as a Joint Venture between RAKIA/Claimant (with 30% stake) and Penna group Industries. Consequently, APMDC entered into Bauxite Supply Agreement with Anrak. As there were differences between APMDC and ANRAK Ltd., the former cancelled the bauxite supply agreement in 2016. ANRAK moved to the High court, and the case is pending for disposal. APMDC could not obtain Consent For Operation (CFO) from the government of India due to the violent opposition for bauxite mining in the area.

In the meanwhile, Maoists killed Aruku MLA K Srinivasa Rao and former MLA S Soma alleging that they were involved in bauxite mining. The local bodies and the tribal advisory council also opposed the mining in the agency. The government felt that “the prospect of mining operations in the area is unsafe and unviable”. Hence, the government revoked the mining lease in G.O.Ms.No.85, dated 26-09-2019.

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