New Delhi: Taking a firm stand against bauxite mining in tribal areas of Visakhapatnam, Union Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo has written a letter to the Mining Ministry for cancellation of all such licenses in Andhra Pradesh.
In a letter to Union Mining Minister Dinsha Patel on February 10, Deo said silence in the matter will further aggravate apprehensions of tribals living in areas where bauxite mining by some companies was underway.
Deo categorically mentioned the permits/MoUs signed between Andhra Pradesh government and some companies for bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam.
"I request you (Patel) to have the requisite communication sent by your Ministry to the Government of Andhra Pradesh to revoke/cancel the impugned MoU which are ultra vires the Constitution. I shall appreciate a communication from you in this regard," he said.
Deo blamed the threat of mining among people for the dismal law and order situation in these areas which, he said, had affected normal governance in these regions.
"... No purpose will be served by letting an impugned order hang in the air. On the contrary, silence on this issue will only create more confusion and further aggravate the apprehensions of the local tribals in these very sensitive areas," he said.
Last year, Deo had revoked the mining lease agreements and MoUs for Andhra Pradesh after Governor ESL Narsimhan did not act on his suggestions to do so.
"Since the governor chose to abdicate his authority, I was constrained to direct the state government of Andhra Pradesh to revoke the impugned MoUs which were ultra vires the Constitution by invoking the powers that have been endowed to the central government under clause three of the Constitution," Deo mentioned in the letter.
On February 4, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had held a meeting to discuss the mining issues and the bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam were also discussed there, Deo said.
"The MoUs which were signed are in blatant flagrant violation of the all above mentioned constitutional and statutory provisions," he said in the letter.