ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Another Vedanta in the Making

AnRak Aluminium

A bauxite/aluminium project very similar to the Vedanta project in Odisha is coming up in Visakhapatnam istrict of Andhra Pradesh. AnRak Aluminium, a company of the government of Ras al-Khaimah of the United Arab Emirates and Penna Cement of AP has secured approval for both an aluminium complex and the bauxite ines, but the fi nal forest clearance for the mines is awaited. The AnRak project has replicated the Vedanta odel of fi rst building the refi nery and then setting up the mine. The mine is to be operated by the state government to circumvent the ban on non-tribal landownership. In fact, the state government has disregarded the huge environmental and social impact and popular protests against mining bauxite in the Jerrela Hills, inhabited almost exclusively by adivasi tribes who will be displaced, to safeguard private gain.

A bauxite/aluminium project very similar to the Vedanta project in Odisha is coming up in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. AnRak Aluminium, a company of the government of Ras al-Khaimah of the United Arab Emirates and Penna Cement of AP has secured approval for both an aluminium complex and the bauxite mines, but the final forest clearance for the mines is awaited. The AnRak project has replicated the Vedanta model of first building the refinery and then setting up the mine. The mine is to be operated by the state government to circumvent the ban on non-tribal landownership. In fact, the state government has disregarded the huge environmental and social impact and popular protests against mining bauxite in the Jerrela Hills, inhabited almost exclusively by adivasi tribes who will be displaced, to safeguard private gain.

Bauxite mining in the tribal areas of central India has become one of the most controversial issues in the country and has faced significant opposition locally as well as nationally, the most notorious in recent years being the Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) project at Lanjigarh in Odisha. A number of similar struggles have been witnessed in other areas as well including Kashipur in south Odisha and the agency areas of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh (AP). Though the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution provides protection to the adivasi (tribal) people living in scheduled areas, also known as agency areas, across nine states from alienation of their lands and natural resources to non-tribals, one sees that rather than upholding the adivasi people’s rights to land and resources, government is colluding with private investors to usurp these rights.

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