EAS seeks probe into illegal bauxite mining

It may be noted bauxite mining is restricted to the public sector and to tribal cooperatives as directed by the Supreme Court in the Samata judgement years ago.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Former union energy secretary EAS Sarma has sought an independent investigation by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) into the alleged illegal mining of bauxite in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.

In a letter addressed to principal secretary of Karikal Valiven on Sunday, he said he has been cautioning the State government about private individuals and companies extracting bauxite in the guise of laterite r. It may be noted bauxite mining is restricted to the public sector and to tribal cooperatives as directed by the Supreme Court in the Samata judgement years ago. He said to circumvent this restriction, the private miners in collusion with the local mining officials have been producing false analysis certificates to show that the bauxite they are extracting and exporting to alumina refineries is indeed laterite. He said as per Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) report, any aluminous mineral ore containing more than 30 per cent aluminium is defined as bauxite.

However, the State Mines department has been granting leases for “laterite” mining, thus allowing the miners to go scot-free. He said there are many mining leases granted in both in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari, which actually involve illegal bauxite extraction.

What is that Tamil Man Swami doing in Jharkhand?

Stan Swami arrested at 83 years of age

What is that Tamil man Swami doing in Jharkhand? That was the question asked by a former agent of the Research and Analysis Wing, RAW, in a debate on one of the national screaming news channels on a Wednesday morning when they were discussing Kashmir, Pakistan’s ISI, India’s Urban Naxals and the women and men arrested by the National Investigation Agency.

The scowling former Lt Colonel’s argument was that anyone working with India’s Adivasis, Dalits and the dispossessed is a foreign agent conspiring to overthrow the government of India’s elected prime minister, Narendrabhai Damodardass Modi.

Read more

Tribal farmers to be given minimum support price for their produce

ITDA Project Officer Venkateswar Salijamula has said that the minimum support price, fixed by the government, will be given to the tribal farmers for the paddy and finger millets (ragulu) produced by them.

He said that the finger millets and paddy would be purchased through Velugu VOs, under the auspices of Markfed at the Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) from November 2.

He appealed to the tribal farmers not to approach middlemen to sell their produce but to sell them at the RBKs.

At a meeting with officials of the Agriculture, Velugu, Markfed and chairman of Market Committees on Friday, Dr. Venkateswar said that the price of finger millets was fixed at ₹3,295 a quintal and paddy at ₹1,860. He called upon Agricultural Assistants and Village Volunteers to create awareness among tribal farmers on selling their produce at the RBKs.

The government was paying more than the price being paid to tribals by middlemen at the weekly shandies. He said that it was the responsibility of the agricultural officers to ensure that the tribal farmers got Rythu Bharosa.

He said that Forest Right pattas were distributed to 48,000 tribal families and each farmer should be given ₹13,500 as rythu bharosa.

Later, Paderu Agriculture Market Committee Chairperson M. Gayatri Devi, Araku Valley Chairperson K. Anita and Chintapalli Chairperson J. Haliya Rani were felicitated by the Project Officer.

Why India Needs Scheduled Tribes to Educate its Future Judges

The recent five-judge bench Supreme Court judgment in Chebrolu Leela Prasad Rao and Ors v State of AP and Ors, shows us once again how little the 5th Schedule of the Indian constitution which is meant to protect adivasi rights is understood.

The reasoning in the judgment – which struck down an Andhra Pradesh government order from 2000 providing 100% reservation for Scheduled Tribe teachers in Scheduled Areas of the state – moves perilously close to dismantling the entire edifice of the 5th Schedule.

If 100% reservation for teaching jobs is not permissible, the next step will be for someone to argue against the ban on alienation of tribal land, or overturn the Samata judgment prohibiting mining leases being given to non-tribals in 5th Schedule Areas in undivided Andhra Pradesh. After all, both these ‘discriminate’ against non-tribals. As non-adivasis from other districts flood scheduled areas leading to clear demographic change, the clamour to do away with the protective provisions of the 5th Schedule is only getting louder.

Read more

A reform move? Plan to auction 41 coal blocks ‘on behalf of’ powerful business lobbies

Counterview Desk

The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s major civil society network, has asked the of India to immediately revoke the auction of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining in order to “stop corporate loot in eco-sensitive and Schedule V Adivasi areas of Central and Eastern India”.

Pointing towards objections raised by 3 State s and several people’s movements, NAPM has asked the Prime Minister to “reconsider” the decision to auction the coal blocks, even as urging him to urgently rethink needed on anti-climate ‘coal-centred’ energy economy.

Read more