Andhra Pradesh Government Scraps Proposal to Mine in Gangalamma Konda Hills

Reported by

Surabhi Bhandari

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016

Updated on

September 19, 2016

Location of Conflict

Nathavaram

Visakhapatnam

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

4000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

121

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Mining

In December 2010, the state government of Andhra Pradesh granted a 14-year permit to a businessman from a tribal community near Nathavaram mandal, to mine laterite. Laterite is used for manufacturing cement. The project proponent plans to extract one million tonnes of laterite annually from 121 hectares.
There are 16 villages in and around Nathavaram mandal where the mining has been proposed. It is home to about 4,000 families belonging to Kondadura and Bhagata tribal communities. The local population including tribal have opposed laterite mining in these areas stating that it would threaten their livelihoods and the existence of caves in the area which house their deities including the Gangalamma Thalli and Jagaramma Devatha temples. “If mining is started, we will lose everything, our crops, water and livelihood,” says Gangaraju, president of Giriputra Welfare Association, a group working for the welfare of the tribes in the region. Villagers grow pulses, mangoes and cashew nuts.
Former Commissioner for Tribal Welfare, E A S Sarma says, there have been many irregularities in granting mining leases. The quality of the Environment Impact Assessment reports has also been questioned. It is alleged that they are inconsistent, have serious factual errors, misrepresent facts- like there is no forest or tree cover or natural drainage channels- and fail to mention that the mining lease will be granted over a Schedule 5 area. Furthermore, locals contend that the businessman given mining lease is a non-tribal man. Under the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Area Land Transfer Regulation Act of 1959, tribal land cannot be transferred to non-tribal in notified areas. The tribal argue that the projects are benami projects, which means, that some tribal people are manipulated in giving their name as miners while the land is used by non-tribals.
Environmental rights activist K Rajendra said, that it is common practice in the region to take permission for laterite mining, but instead indulge in bauxite mining. Pawan Kalyan, who visited Vanthada village in November 2018, alleged that a company was indulging in excessive mining and that as many as 15,000 metric tonnes of bauxite was exploited in the guise of laterite by flouting all the norms. Noted environmental activist and former union government secretary EAS Sarma says, “No mining should be carried out on the top of the hill as per environmental protection laws. The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has defined laterite with more than 30% aluminum as bauxite, which means that it can be mined only by the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC).” In June 2019, the Andhra Pradesh CM scrapped Government Order No. 97 which allowed AP Mineral Development corporation to mine bauxite ore. This decision was welcomed by activists, environmentalists and communities.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 3(e) [A minor mineral shall include those minerals which the Central Government may by notification declare to be a minor mineral]; Section 4(1) [No person shall be allowed to undertake any mining operations in any area, except in accordance of a mining lease issued by the State Government]; Section 10 [An application for a mining lease shall be made to the State Government concerned]
Mineral Concession Rules, 1960
Section 4A [The State Government shall be competent to approve mining plans in respect of Laterite mining in their respective jurisdictions]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(k) [The recommendations of the Gram Sabha have to necessarily be obtained prior to the grant of a mining lease in Scheduled Areas]
Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994
Section 242H(1) [The recommendations of the Gram Sabha shall be taken into consideration prior to the grant of a mining lease for minor minerals in Scheduled Areas] 
Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Land Transfer Regulation, 1959
Clause 3 [No immovable property situated in Scheduled Areas shall be transferred to any person, unless such person is a member of a Scheduled Tribe]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Appendix I [The application for environment clearance has to include information regarding hectares of forest land involved, topological changes caused by the project, risk of contamination of water and other cumulative impacts]; Section 8(vi) [Deliberate misinformation or false data disclosed on an application shall make it liable for rejection]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [No forest land shall be assigned by way of lease to any private person without prior approval of the Central Government]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Andhra Pradesh

Case Number

Writ Petition No. 30956 of 2016

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

This petition was filed before the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on the grounds that the Gram Sabha resolutions and the no-objection certificate issued by the Panchayat as per the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 were fictitious and forged. As per the provisions of these Acts, the recommendations of the Gram Sabha have to be taken into consideration while granting a mining lease for minor minerals in Scheduled Areas. The petitioners were demanding that the Gram Sabha resolution dated 23-07-2009, which allegedly showed the consent of the Gram Sabha for the mining project, be set aside. The show cause notice against the said resolution was issued on 12-3-2015. In the meanwhile, the Central Government had issued a notification dated 10-02-2015, excluding laterite from the list of 'minor minerals'. Since laterite was no longer a minor mineral which required prior permission as on the date of the show cause, the court held that the mining license was valid. The veracity of the Gram Sabha resolutions were held to be irrelevant, since laterite was no longer a minor mineral.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Tribal Communities

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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Reviewed By

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