CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday said it will take into consideration the grievances of the people living around the Sterlite factory in Thoothukudi and take action as per law, even as actor Rajinikanth, the founder of Rajini Makkal Mandram, questioned the government for failing to act.
In a statement here, Environment Minister K C Karuppannan said the government would look into the grievances of the people living around the Sterlite unit and take action according to law.
Highlighting the issues surrounding the industry chronologically, he said the Union Ministry of Environment had given permission for the industry’s phase-2 expansion in 2009 and subsequently the State government had also given permission for setting up the new mine. This expansion, which is still in the early stages, has sparked massive protests from residents.
The minister also said the State government will scrutinise the permission renewal petition of Sterlite Industries carefully.
Rajinikanth, who took to Twitter to express his concerns over Sterlite, said “It is quite hard to comprehend that the government which has allowed the Sterlite Industry to function is just watching as people have come out with claims of how the mining is affecting their health and protested for the last 47 days.”
Environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman, who has been involved in the protests, said the government’s assurance to take the complaints of people into consideration “means nothing”.
“The government has been protecting the Sterlite Industry’s interests,” he said, asking whether the mining company, owned by Vedanta, currently has permission or not.