CHENNAI: Thoothukudi-based Prince Cardoza on Monday filed a writ petition in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, seeking cancellation of the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the Sterlite in 2007 for the existing four-lakh-ton-a-year smelter complex. The court has admitted the petition and issued notices to all parties, namely, the Union Ministry of Environment, Customs Department, TNPCB and the government of Tamil Nadu.
As per the petition, Sterlite obtained EC by making a false representation that it had adequate land (172.17 hectares) for expansion, including that for solid waste storage, and other environmental protection infrastructure. The petitioner argued that the company even now has only 102.3 hectares against the required 172.17 hectares.
The petition also highlighted that the Sterlite may have been emitting, on an average, about eight tonnes of arsenic daily into Thoothukudi’s environment during operation. This figure was calculated using the company’s own data. The petition presented a scientific opinion which reveals that the chimney stacks attached to the sulphuric acid plant and copper smelter were not of adequate height to ensure effective dispersion of sulphur dioxide.