Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had announced the ban on the bauxite mining in the forest agency area of Visakhapatnam. He made this announcement during his conference with the IPS officers in the State on Tuesday, as part of the two-day Collectors’ Conference. The chief minister said that the people of the agency area, particularly the tribals were opposing the mining activity. He had received personal representations from the tribals requesting him to stop mining as that was disturbing their living in the forests.
There were several threats from the Maoists too to the bauxite mining contractors over the years. The murder of Araku MLA Kidari Sarvesara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma was the result of the illegal bauxite mining. The MLA was active in the mining and was warned against it by the Maoists. The tribals too held series of protests in the area and have held him captive for a couple of times asking him to stop the mining. However, as he did not succumb to the pressures, the Maoists got into action and killed him in December 2018.
The tribals allege that the mining is illegal and was destroying their livelihood. Jaganmohan Reddy said that there was nothing special for the government to go against the wishes of the people. “When the people are opposing why should we go for that activity? People start holding protests causing disturbance to the law and order situation. The distressed tribals are getting into the Maoists, which is again a danger to the State. Let us stop it,” he told the police officials.
The chief minister had directed the officials to cancel the GOs issued by the previous Telugu Desam Party government on bauxite contract. This would give a great relief to the tribals who have been fighting against such mining which was destroying the forests and the natural resources. It is welcomed by the people of Visakhapatnam district, who have also been supporting the tribals.