CONTROVERSY surrounds the illegal mining for gems and other precious stones
that has been reportedly going on in
Vishakhapatnam district of Andhra
Pradesh. According to Renuka
Chowdhury, a mem@er of Parliament,
the mining scandal - involving nearly
Rs 700 crore and jeopardising the lives
of the local tribals - has taken place
with the connivance of the state government.
The minister for environment and
forests Kamal Nath has stated that a
high-level team will investigate to check
if there was'any violation of the Forest
Conservation Act in the reserved forests
in and around Vishakhapatnam. While
a total of 14 cases of mining were
booked by the state forest department
and another 2 by the police, all these
were compounded by the state government. The environment ministry is now
seeking clarifications from the state for
the withdrawal of the cases.
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