In a move that could trigger protests from tribals, the Andhra Pradesh government has given an approval for bauxite mining in 1,212 hectares of forest land in Visakhapatnam district with certain conditions.
According to a Government Order (GO), the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests has been accorded permission to divert 1,212 hectares of forest land in Chintapalli and Jerrila of Narsipatnam Forest Division in Visakhapatnam for mining lease for bauxite in favour of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation.
The several conditions laid down by the government include that legal status of the forest land being diverted shall remain unchanged as well as the compensatory afforestation over non-forest land in extent to the forest land being diverted shall be raised and maintained by state forest department from the funds already provided by user agency.
Bauxite mining has been staunchly opposed by the tribals in Visakhapatnam for fear of losing their habitat.
Various political parties have also voiced their support to the cause.