Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board refuses to renew consent for Thoothukudi Sterlite plant, smelting operations shut down indefinitely

The scheduled maintenance activities were supposed to be for a period of approximately 15 days, it is now likely to be extended.

Published: 10th April 2018 01:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2018 02:25 PM   |  A+A-

Thousands of people gathered on the streets of Thoothukudi to protest against the Sterlite copper plant for allegedly causing pollution. (File photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: At a time when Sterlite was harboring dream of expanding its operations, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has delivered a big body blow rejecting the its plea to renew Consent to Operate (CTO) for the existing smelter plant at Thoothukudi for want of more clarifications. 

The development has been confirmed by the company itself on Tuesday in a letter written to Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India Limited. 

Bhumika Sood, Company Secretary and Compliance Officer, Vedanta Limited, said: "The company had applied for renewal of CTO for its existing smelter plant at Thoothukudi. The application has been rejected for want of more clarifications. The company is evaluating further course of action. As informed by the company on March 27, 2018, the scheduled maintenance activities were supposed to be for a period of approximately 15 days, but now it is likely to be extended given the above development. The company shall update further developments from time to time. We request you to kindly take the above information on record," Sood said in the letter, a copy of which is accessed with the Express.

Meanwhile, the current consent order issued by the pollution board under Section 21 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Section 25 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 has reportedly expired on March 31, 2018. 

Sources say the company's claim of closing the plant for maintenance for 15 days was inevitable as the current CTO granted under Air and Water Act expired 10 days ago. Now, the closure is indefinite till the renewal is granted by the pollution board.


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