Proposed Alumina Refinery At Boddavara Is A Destructive Project: HRF

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) takes strong objection to the manner in which the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) is seeking to hold a public hearing on June 4 for the Jindal alumina refinery and co-generation plant near Srungavarapu Kota (S Kota).

As per norms, any such public hearing must be held only after ensuring that all the relevant information pertaining to the project has been made available to the local people in a comprehensive manner and sufficient time is given to them to discuss and debate the information. This has not happened. Also, only 10 pages of the gist of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report has been put out in Telugu while the report in English runs into about 180 pages. Giving truncated information to the local people in this manner is totally unacceptable.

Moreover, the EIA Report is incomplete. Specifically, it is ambiguous and unclear about the source of water for the refinery. As is well known, such alumina refineries are notoriously water hungry and therefore the question of where they will source the required water from is a matter of serious concern.

Whatever the source, whether Thatipudi or Raiwada, drawing water for the refinery will undermine water security in the region. This will have grave implications for residents of Visakhapatnam city as well as farmers of Vizag and Vizianagaram districts. To divert large amounts of water for such industries and depriving citizens of their legitimate share is totally unacceptable. All this is being sought to be done when there is a serious water crisis in the State.

More pertinently, setting in motion the process of public hearing for the proposed alumina refinery does not make any sense when requisite clearances including environment and forest clearances to mine bauxite in the Vizag Agency have yet to be obtained by the AP Mineral Development Corporation.

The bauxite mining as well as refining for alumina is unviable in legal, social and environmental terms. There has not been any transparency, public scrutiny or democratic debate of these projects which will leave permanent scars in both the forest region as well as the plains.

We believe that bauxite mining and refining into alumina will devastate the livelihood of Adivasis as well as the plainspeople. It will cause irrepairable damage to the environment.

The HRF calls upon people in the S Kota and Boddavara region as well as democratic movements to oppose such destructive projects.

VS Krishna
HRF State secretary


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