If Sterlite is allowed to start operations at its Thoothukudi plant, it would cause irreparable injury and hardship to the public as there is an “imminent threat and danger of chemical disaster,” the TNPCB said here on Tuesday.
In its counter affidavit filed on the petition against its March 29 closure order before the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) , the board said that between October 2012-March 2013, there had been “numerous” incidents of excessive emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from the plant. In this view, the appellant is not fit for operation and should not be permitted to commence operations.
Narrating the sequence of events on the day of the leak in March, the affidavit said numerous complaints were received from people of eye irritation, continuous cough, and breathing difficulties due to inhalation of the noxious gas. Even, the Collector experienced the symptoms.
“The TNPCB Care Air Centre at Guindy logged data pertaining to Sulphuric Acid plant-I from 2 AM to 2.45 AM which showed that SO2 in stack emission was in the range of 803.5ppm to 1123.6ppm) as against the emission standards of 477.53 ppm,” the document said.