Visakhapatnam: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said bauxite mining would not be allowed at any cost in the Visakhapatnam agency area to protect the interests of tribals.
He said this following reports that some private companies had shown interest in mining bauxite there. However, local villagers and tribals are opposing the proposed move.
While talking to reporters at Paderu village in Visakhapatnam, Ramesh said along with the local tribals, he and Union Minister for Tribal and Panchayat Raj Kishore Chandra Deo had been against mining in the tribal areas since long.
"We are also articulating the opinion of local tribes for the last four years. Kishore Chandra Deo also wrote a letter to the state government on the decision of the Ministry. As long as we are in power, we don't allow mining in the agency areas," he said.
The minister also appealed to Maoists to join the mainstream and participate in the development activities being carried out by the government.
Clarifying that the government was ready for a dialogue with them, Ramesh said the ultras should win the hearts of the people by following a democratic approach.