Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sarma asks for revocation of APMDC’s e-tender

  • It is regarding Calcite mining lease in Nimmalapadu village
  • Says he would seek judicial intervention if the State government failed to act

Visakhapatnam: EAS Sarma, IAS, former secretary to government of India, has sent a missive to Adityanath Das, chief secretary to government of Andhra Pradesh taking objection to AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) issuing an E-Tender for working on Calcite mining lease of 8.725 hectares in Nimmalapadu village, Ananthagiri mandal, Visakhapatnam district. The tender called for raising cum sale contract. The former officer expressed surprise at APMDC unilaterally issuing such a notification in gross violation of the provisions of the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas)Act (PESA) and the scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (Recognition of forest rights) Act (FRA). He reminded that all these acts are applicable to Nimmalapadu village which lies within the notified scheduled area of Visakhapatnam district.

Sarma also wrote in his letter, ”In the Scheduled Areas, as per the provisions of PESA, the question whether any mineral should be extracted and, if so, by whom should be discussed first by the local adivasi Gram Sabha. Such a prior discussion had not apparently taken place. Under FRA, it is necessary that the individual and community rights to the land and the forest resources etc. should be similarly be subject to prior discussion by the local adivasi Gram Sabha, which process appears to have been bypassed. As such, the e-tender notice is patently illegal and liable to be set aside.

“I may bring to your notice two separate judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, one in in the Samata case in respect of mining in Visakhapatnam Scheduled Area and the second one in the case of bauxite mining by Vedanta in the Scheduled Area of Odisha, copies of which are enclosed here.”

The former secretary to government of India has made it clear that if the State government failed to revoke the e-tender notice immediately, he would be forced to seek judicial intervention.

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