CHENNAI: It’s more trouble for M/s Vedanta Sterlite Copper in Thoothukudi. The Supreme Court has admitted a statutory civil appeal filed by a resident of Thoothukudi and issued notice to Sterlite for dumping over 3.52 lakh tonnes of copper slag waste in the water-spread area of Uppar river.
The civil appeal was filed by V Ramasubbu challenging the judgement of the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which disposed of his petition in September 8, 2017 without any directions. The appeal was filed under Section 22 of the NGT Act, 2010.
Speaking to Express, Ramasubbu alleged that the tribunal had ignored the gross and large-scale violation of conditions of the Environmental Clearance, in addition to violation of conditions of consent to operate granted to the Sterlite. “We had submitted fool-proof evidence of illegal dumping of lakhs of tonnes of copper slag in the water-spread area and buffer zone of the Uppar river, but the tribunal chose to abdicate from its responsibility of allowing me to pursue a remedy before the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, which has constantly failed to take any action for years,” he said and added that the petition was disposed of even before Sterlite filed its reply.
The apex court has now issued notices to Sterlite and other respondents who were parties in the NGT case. The court has given four weeks time for the parties to respond. For the last 45 days, Sterlite is shut down with the TNPCB refusing to renew its consent to operate after lakhs of people in Toothukudi protested.
Plea to be heard today
Meanwhile, a plea filed by Sterlite is coming up for hearing before the TNPCB appellant authority on Thursday. In the previous hearing, TNPCB counsel Arvindh Pandian vehemently opposed Sterlite’s plea and submitted an affidavit wherein the board accused Sterlite of blatant non-compliance and misleading facts, besides exhaustively speaking on alarming rise in number of persons being diagnosed with cases of asthma, pharyngitis, sinusitis and other respiratory tract infections and ENT morbidity suspected to be due to atmospheric pollution.