Villagers for bauxite mining

Residents of at least 20 villages in Laxmipur block in the district have demanded resumption of bauxite mining at the Kodingamali hill situated in the area.

By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Koraput
  • Published 3.05.18
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FOR DEVELOPMENT: Villagers demand resumption of bauxite mining at the Kodingamali hill. Telegraph picture

Koraput: Residents of at least 20 villages in Laxmipur block in the district have demanded resumption of bauxite mining at the Kodingamali hill situated in the area.

The villagers said that they used to eke out a living by getting engaged in the mining activities and that they had lost their livelihood once the mining work is stopped, the villagers will loose their livelihood.

"Some outsiders are creating problems in the area and are misleading the villagers against mining. Mining activities are being hampered here from time to time by outsiders and we are the worst sufferers of it," said villager Ranjit Bidika. He added that mining would bring infrastructure development in the area and that people opposing mining unnecessarily would not be tolerated. The villagers have also submitted a memorandum to the district administration, including the inspector in charge of Laxmipur police station, the block development officer and the tehsildar of Laxmipur, urging immediate resumption of mining in the area. Mining at Kodingamali came to a grinding halt on April 13 after some villagers torched a tipper of the company engaged in mining activities and police arrested Champi panchayat samiti member Balabhadra Muduli in this connection.

Opposing the arrest of Muduli, few local villagers have stopped mining and have demanded establishment of a bauxite refinery, a hospital, drinking water facility, electrification, forestation drive in the area and financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the affected families for construction of their homes among others.

A meeting has been called involving both the parties opposing and supporting mining at Kondingamali and steps will be taken to ensure that mining resumes at the earliest, said an official.

"The demands of the people opposing mining will also be looked into," he said.

Officials said the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) have obtained the mining lease on around 428 hectares of Kodingamali hill.