CHENNAI: Sterlite Copper today said its factory in Thoothukudi district is currently non-functional and the company is awaiting approval from the authorities to resume operations at the site.
At least nine people were killed in police firing in Thoothukudi yesterday after protests for the closure of the plant over pollution concerns turned violent.
Sterlite said the facility has been shut since March 27 when the company took up annual scheduled maintenance.
The firm's application to renew its licence to operate the copper smelter facility was rejected by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, Sterlite in a statement said it has appealed to the government to ensure safety of employees, facilities and the surrounding communities.
"The Sterlite Copper plant is currently non-operational as we await approval for the consent to operate," it said.
The three month-long protest by locals demanding closure of Sterlite Copper unit of Vedanta Group turned violent yesterday with agitators pelting stones and toppling police vehicles after they were prevented from marching towards the plant.
According to the police, Section 144 of CrPC has been invoked in and around the unit as per the orders of the Madras High Court.
Sterlite Copper represents the copper unit of Vedanta Ltd which operates a four lakh tonne per annum plant at Tuticorin.