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Indefinite Protest by Tribals Against Mining at Chhattisgarh's Bailadila Hills Ends

Tribals from about 200 villages of Dantewada last week had launched the indefinite protest against mining in a hill revered as the shrine of a local deity.

PTI

Updated:June 13, 2019, 9:08 PM IST
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Indefinite Protest by Tribals Against Mining at Chhattisgarh's Bailadila Hills Ends
Tribals protesting against mining in Bailadila hills. (Credit: Abdul Hameed)

New Delhi: The indefinite protest by tribals against iron ore mining in Bailadila hills range at Dantewada in Chhattisgarh has ended, a senior government official said.

The Steel Ministry official said that NMDC which holds the mining rights in the Bailadila range area would prepare a report on the matter.

Tribals from about 200 villages of Dantewada last week had launched the indefinite protest against mining in a hill revered as the shrine of a local deity.

"The protest has ended and NMDC would be preparing a report on it," the official said. NMDC CMD N Baijendra Kumar along with senior officials is in Raipur, the official added.

NMDC-CMDC Ltd, a joint venture of and NMDC and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation, is developing the 10 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity Bailadila iron ore Deposit-13. The protest started after the joint venture awarded the operations contract to Adani Enterprises.

The Congress government in the state on Tuesday halted the mining work at the Deposit-13 site after the protest and also initiated a probe into alleged illegal felling of trees to construct an approach road in the area.

According to a state government official, the contract for mine development was awarded to Adani Enterprises and tree-cutting work was underway to build an approach road to the mining site on the hill.

A delegation led by Bastar Congress MP Dipak Baij Tuesday met the chief minister and complained about illegal felling of trees in the area and also informed him about the ongoing protest by tribals against mining there.

The chief minister also asked officials to examine claims, made by the delegation, that a "fake" gram sabha was held in 2014, when the BJP was ruling the state, to obtain approval of local residents for the project.

NMDC-CMDC Ltd Chief Executive Officier V S Prabhakar had said that some people having vested interests are spreading propaganda that the lease of the mine has been transferred to Adani Enterprises for a period of 25 years which "is not true".

He said that except for NCL none can transfer the lease to anyone and Adani Enterprises is only a mine developer-cum-operator for the project and lease has not been transferred to it.

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