Maoists oppose bauxite mining

KORAPUT: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) has opposed the establishment of a bauxite mining company in Rayagada district. The rebels put up posters at Serigumma under Kalyansinghpur block on Saturday, expressing their opposition. The Kashipur and Niyamgiri Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) urged people to oppose RSB Metaltech, which is planning to establish a bauxite mining unit at Serigumma in Rayagada. “We oppose the establishment of the proposed bauxite mining by RSB Metaltech at Serigumma. Mining in the area will affect the livelihood of tribals. We urge locals not to cooperate with the company officials,” read a Maoist poster pasted on a sevashram (residential school) building at Serigumma.

The poster threatened those reportedly working as agents for the company with dire consequences. “Those who are trying to garner support in favour of the company by motivating tribals should refrain from such activities or else they may be punished,” the poster warned. Maoists also urged the panchayat’s elected representatives not to support the company. Police said they have seized the poster and suspect it to be the handiwork of some miscreants. Police, however, brushed off the threat. “Though not sure, but we suspect it to be a fake Maoist poster. However, investigation is on and details will be known once we wrap up our examination,” said Kalyansinghpur police station inspector in-chareg Binod Lakra.

According to sources, the company has proposed to develop a greenfield 0.7 MTPA alumina refinery complex along with a 30 mw co-generation power plant at Serigumma panchayat and Gumma panchayat of Rayagada at an estimated cost of around Rs 3,500 crore. The company, which will source bauxite from Sasubahumali hills, requires over 613 hectare of land for the project. During a public hearing organised for land acquisition for the company last November, irate villagers had ransacked the meeting venue at Serigumma, opposing the mining operation of the company.

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