Mining Leases Granted by Andhra Pradesh Government Threatens Homes, Livelihoods of Tribespeople

Reported by

Surabhi Bhandari

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Updated on

June 4, 2020

Location of Conflict

Bodikondolu

Vizianagaram

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Mining

Granite Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

71

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Mining

The Andhra Pradesh government, through its Department of Mines and Geology, grants mining leases to private entities. Over the years, it has granted a number of leases in agency areas (hilly and forested areas dominated by tribals) in Vizianagaram district. As per District Survey Report 2018, more than 23 mining leases for granite quarrying are active. The region has not been classified as a Scheduled V area and, thus, the legal protection for tribal regions do not apply here. In 2016, the government issued a licence and other permissions to excavate highquality granite from Bodikonda, which falls under the jurisdiction of Buduruvada panchayat of Parvathipuram mandal in the district. A corporate mining company got licence from the government to unearth granite from an area spanning 175 acres. Around 5,000 tribespeople live in Boddavalasa, Tekilova, Bittara tonki and some other villages in the district. Shifting cultivation and collecting forest produce like tamarind and firewood as well as mango cultivation are their main sources of income. The forest dwellers now fear losing their homes and livelihoods and the possibility of migrating to the plains in search of work. Protesting the mining projects allowed by the government, the tribespeople have raised concerns about pollution of water, loss of forest produce and the threat to the ecology of the Eastern Ghats as well as to their cultural and religious identities. For the last three years, indiscriminate mining has been taking place in the region, with the government failing to do basic checks before granting leases. Companies have suppressed facts and have got leases within the catchment area of the reservoir, says P.S. Ajay Kumar, national committee member of the All India Agriculture and Rural Workers' Association. In June 2019, after a sustained protest by tribespeople and activists, authorities finally responded. In a twopage report, Sasi Bhushana Rao, Superintending Engineer from the Irrigation Department, said that the mining companies failed to obtain the prerequisite permission to begin mining activity in the region. "The Water Resources Department has not given any permission or No Objection Certificate for the above quarry leases. The quarry sites are in the Kalyanapulova Reservoir Catchment area. The distance from this water body to the above quarries varies from four to five kilometres," the report states. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

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

Total investment involved (in Crores):

0.95

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

Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
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]
G.O.Ms No: 107, Industries and Commerce (Mines II) Department dated July 30, 2016
Clause 6(1) [Applications for mining leases shall be made to the Assistant Director of Mines and Geology, Andhra Pradesh]; Clause 6(ix) [In respect of area falling under Forest land, the application shall be forwarded to the Principal Chief Conservator of forest for his recommendations and forest clearance]
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]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(c) [The right to collect minor forest produce that has traditionally been collected outside village boundaries shall be a forest right]; Section 4(1) [The forest rights recognized under Section 3 shall vest in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]
Electricity Act, 2003
Section 7 [No person carrying on any operation or process shall be permitted to discharge any environmental pollutants in excess of the standards prescribed]
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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:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Department of Mines and Geology, Government of Andhra Pradesh

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:

M/s Pokarna Granites Limited, Vaishnav Granites

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Andhra Pradesh Rythu Coolie Sangham, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Maoist), Girijana Samkshema Sangham

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Edited By

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