A public hearing on environmental issues regarding granting of mining lease to Hindalco Industries Ltd has been organized by Koraput district administration in Odisha.
Significant number of villagers and activists are protesting against the move by the government to grant mining lease.
A similar public hearing was to be conducted two months back but was cancelled due to protests by villagers.
The public hearing is regarding mining bauxite in the Maliparbat hill. It is organized by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).
The report has been rejected by environmentalists and villagers for violating their “fundamental rights. They will be challenging the report.
The Maliparbat hill is said to be rich in bauxite resources. The bauxite reserve is estimated to be around 14 million tonnes.
The mining license was granted to Hindalco in 2006 but it could not carry out mining activity due to resistance from tribals.
For a brief time in 2012, mining was carried out but was stopped shortly. The lease period expired few years back.
A total of 42 villages will be affected due to the mining operation. The water resources from several streams would be depleted in the region.
The Maliparbat area and surrounding forests are inhabited by people belonging to Kondha, Paraja and Gadaba tribes, whose livelihoods depend on forests and hills.
Women from different villages had gathered to protest against the hearing as most of the senior leaders have been imprisoned.