Former Secretary of the Government of India and former Commissioner for Tribal Welfare to the AP Government, EAS Sarma, has made a strong exception to the way in which the AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) has an electronic tender for the processing of Calcite Mining Lease of 8,725 hectares in the village of Nimmalapadu in the Ananthagiri Mandal in the Visakhapatnam district
In a letter to the Secretary General, he stated that the APMDC had no right to unilaterally issue such notification and that it was a gross violation of the provisions of the Panchayat Law (Extension of Planned Areas) (PESA) and Planned Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act (FRA).
Speak with The HinduHe said both laws apply to Nimmalapadu village as it is within the reported planned area of Visakhapatnam District.
According to him, in the planned areas, according to the regulations of the PESA, the question of whether a mineral should be extracted and, if so, by whom, should first be discussed by the local Adivasi Gram Sabha.
Such a prior discussion did not appear to have taken place, he claimed. Even within the FRA framework, it is necessary that individual and community rights to land and forest resources are discussed beforehand by the local Adivasi Gram Sabha, which has apparently been circumvented, he added.
Therefore, the electronic tender is obviously illegal and can be lifted, he said.
The Samata ruling and the ruling in the case of Vedanta bauxite mining in the planned Odisha area also apply to this case, Mr Sarma said.
A local tribal cooperative is known to have turned to the AP High Court for a stay in the E-Tender.
A few years ago the same tribal cooperative approached the government to lease it for mining and was turned down.