NGT refuses Sterlite access to its Thoothukudi copper smelting plant in Tamil Nadu; next hearing on July 18

Vedanta Ltd moved a plea in the National Green Tribunal challenging the state government's order to permanently close the Sterlite copper plant at Tuticorin.

Published: 05th July 2018 11:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2018 12:32 PM   |  A+A-

A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant, a unit of London-based Vedanta Resources, in Tuticorin. (Photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday refused to grant any interim relief to UK-based Vedanta Group company's Sterlite Industries Ltd, to restore power and give access for carrying out maintenance work in the Thoothukudi copper smelting plant.

The Tribunal was hearing Sterlite's appeals seeking a stay on the closure order of its plant by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The order also asked for the power supply disconnection in the Thoothukudi unit.

Without going into the merits of the case, the bench has raised the question of the applications' maintainability. 

Rakesh Sharma, Tamil Nadu government's standing counsel told the Express, "We argued that Vedanta has filed petitions before different forms seeking similar prayers, in which case this application before NGT is not maintainable," he said.

On July 18, the next date of hearing, the bench will first decide on maintainability. 

"If the tribunal feels its maintainable, Vedanta will press for interim relief, if not it will be dismissed. We were given 10 days time to file the counter," Sharma said.

In its applications, The company also requested the tribunal to direct TNPCB to restore and provide minimum power supply water and manpower access for safeguarding the emergency systems of the plant as it houses various chemicals, resins and fuels, which poses a threat to the plant and its surroundings.

In April, TNPCB has rejected Sterlite's plea to renew the CTO saying the company didn't comply with the stipulated conditions following which the government has issued a permanent closure order on May 28. In between, protests had erupted in Thoothukudi during which 13 people were killed in police firing.


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  • goldenfig

    Natural Justice must prevail in this case. See the facts/backgrounder at Perfect Designs: Thoothukudi cancers resulting from uranium internal exposure
    2 years ago reply
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